In lieu of trying to belong to any number of societies: Chesterton, Sherlock Holmes, the Inklings, and so on: I propose and establish one of my own. Don your intelligence cap at the door; dust off your logic and imagination; did you bring your inspiration and encouragement? We are shapers, my friends; lit lamps; light-bringers. Bring quotes*; poetry should be uplifting and thoughtful, or witty and clever, (or both). Humor is encouraged; laughter is invited back. Pull up a chair. Anyone for tea?
* C.S. LEWIS, J.R.R. TOLKIEN, SHERLOCK HOLMES, G.K. CHESTERTON, N.D. WILSON, AND P.G. WODEHOUSE, ARE ENCOURAGED
"For if I could please myself…I would choose always to breakfast at exactly eight and to be at my desk by nine, there to read or write till one. If a cup of good tea or coffee could be brought me about eleven, so much the better. A step or so out of doors for a pint of beer would not do quite so well; for a man does not want to drink alone and if you meet a friend in the taproom the break is likely to be extended beyond its ten minutes. At one precisely lunch should be on the table; and by two at the latest I would be on the road. Not, except at rare intervals, with a friend. Walking and talking are two very great pleasures, but it is a mistake to combine them.
The return from the walk, and the arrival of tea, should be exactly coincident, and not later than a quarter past four. Tea should be taken in solitude…for eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably. At five a man should be at work again, and at it till seven. Then, at the evening meal and after, comes the time for talk, or failing that, for lighter reading; and unless you are making a night of it with your cronies, there is no reasons why you should ever be in bed later than eleven. But when is a man to write his letters? You forget that I am describing the happy life I led with Kirk or the ideal life I would live now if I could. And it is an essential of the happy life that a man would have almost no mail and never dread the postman’s knock.
Such is my ideal, and such the (almost) was the reality of “settled, calm, Epicurean life.” It is no doubt for my own good that I have been so generally prevented from leading it, for it is a life almost entirely selfish."
-C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy, p.143
Of course I hurried to the attic right away for the Charlie Brown Christmas CD--we always get to listen to that on the first day of snow. It was chilly up there, and the light was dim. I had no idea where it would be, and ended up finding it in the bottom of three stacked storage bins (which I balanced on another pile while pulling out the box). But I wouldn't have missed that moment for anything. That old red box has held our Christmas music for as long as I can remember, and just last year Mama glued a vintage magazine clipping over the ripped spot on top. I put the bins back and opened the red lid. Each CD and cassette in that box is as familiar to me as any Christmas tradition, and I fingered lovingly the worn and cracked cases that reminded me of my whole life. Everything from Bing Crosby & Nat King Cole, to Handel's Messiah is in that box. And right there, under a few others, is the one I am looking for: Charlie Brown Christmas.
Autumnal Sunshine Colors
By Olivia, September 2006, age 12.
The golden rays of sunshine
And the maple leaves that fall
The darkest, they are the best
The deepest red of apples
Are the happiest it seems
And yet they are the saddest
Oh, the gold and silver streams
Some are warm and some are chill
The branches shed their beauty
Yet their beauty is there still
Are bountiful at harvest
The squash and oh, the pumpkin
You can see them in a bird
See a gorgeous red or brown
Flash, they're gone without a word
Shine through Black Eyed Susans fair
And though it may be sunny
You feel crispness in the air
You can taste with every bite
Into a crimson apple
Or a piece of pumpkin bright
Are in each seed which does float
With a golden autumn note
They appear from left and right
Like a many featured gem
Like a ruby in sunlight
They are waiting ever near
So search, whether there or here.