Date: 26 Jul 2017 8:38 pm Title: Chapter 26 - Patches of Godlight
Another review sent to me by Rosemarie, formerly Celia, since she's unable to gain access at the moment:
So lovely to think of them all saying compline together whilst MA remains with them. I'm sure Hilda will agree with a heart and a half. It might become a tradition which carries on. Any staff and maybe even sixth form who want, coming together to say the office whenever they are able before bed. A plus for those who find school prayers not quite enough.
I too loved the Rilke quote, and CS Lewis 'patches of Godlight.' Good to see Hilda's 'family' together having time to chat informally. Nancy and Matey will need to hear Hilda's forgiveness before they are comforted, but will have learnt not to hide anything from her which she should know I suspect.
Looking forward to the next chapter whenever you and your erstwhile laptop are well enough. Thank you Mary, may the injection be soon and effective.
Date: 16 Jul 2017 5:13 pm Title: Chapter 26 - Patches of Godlight
MA's thoughts are rather similar to Gwynneth's in wanting to keep Hilda in line but MA has accepted that Hilda needs to give all she is able to before taking her own rest. Maybe if Gwynneth watches carefully she too will learn when to keep those thoughts inside and when to insist on rest.
It's lovely to finally see a happy Meg even though she knows there will be difficulties ahead she is so different now that she'll cope with it all with help from her friends. Ellie is also much happier despite the pain, glad Helen sent her to bed though.
I love the way that the cubicles give so much away about their owners and are personal to each of them even as part of the school furniture.
I hope that Nancy is able to accept that her differences to Hilda do not make her lesser as a future Head. She will do a sterling job if she can just trust in herself. As for whether she will be able to work with Kathie that's up to Kathie to prove herself as a changed being.
Helen's relationship with Hilda is becoming one of the most wonderful friendships as it is so understated yet as deep and caring as any of those which are more apparent.
It's also lovely to see Ian and MA growing closer and appreciating each other more and more, the long distance between them geographically has been narrowed by this time together and their closeness increased.
As for Vivien, she's a blessing all through and I love the humourous way she used the need for the telephone to bring Gwynneth back into the fold in such a simple way.
Date: 14 Jul 2017 12:15 am Title: Chapter 26 - Patches of Godlight
I so enjoyed this chapter, all Hildas "family" drawing together. Good that Meg has such help from Ellie and Jeanne and of course Mireille. Loved the way MA wanted to see the dormitories and that Vivien had to go as well so she didn't get lost. What a lovely idea for them all to read the office together. I feel Nancy is going to need a lot of help from MA and the others over the next few days. Glad Hilda is finally asleep. By the way loved the Rilke quotation. Thanks Mary.
Date: 11 Jul 2017 10:41 pm Title: Chapter 26 - Patches of Godlight
Wonderful update. So glad Hilda is finally asleep and all her lambs seem to be happy. Just hope Nancy can forgive Kathie now.
Date: 11 Jul 2017 1:24 am Title: Chapter 26 - Patches of Godlight
The support for Meg is wonderful and it has really helped to break the ice and will encourage her to ignore the snide remarks which are bound to come from Sarah and Barbara. She knows that her dreadful sins are forgiven and that she can make good in the future if she puts her trust in Him.
I'm glad that Kathie was asleep when Nancy went to her. She needs her rest and to let the truths which Hilda imparted to her work their way into her soul whilst she sleeps and He watches over her.
Persuading Gwyneth to join the 'family' to pray the Office was inspired, they all needed the peace this will have brought them and will go to their beds all the better for this time together. Hopefully Hilda will be able to join them tomorrow evening.
Where do you find your quotes, Mary? The Rilke brought tears to my eyes and spoke to the depths of my soul.
Thank you Mary.
Author's Response: Thanks for the review, Linda. Where do I find my quotations? Well, I do like Rilke and have books of his poetry. Other quotes come from my reading, like the one from 'Arrest the Bishop?' or from the Bible. I have been collecting quotations for many years and have several quote books, like Hilda, so often just have to leaf through to find one I like.
Date: 06 Jul 2017 7:51 pm Title: Chapter 1: - And Light Is A Way
A lovely chapter but I am so sad for Matey. She did what she thought was for the best and is now feeling that her place in her own universe has shifted beyond redemption. I hope she manages to forgive herself.
Author's Response: Gosh, shesings, thank you for coming back with another comment, this time about poor Matey. How often do we do the same, do what we think is best - without really considering all the consequences? It seems to be a human failing. She only thought of Hilda, not of Kathie. But I'm sure Hilda will do her best to right her world for her - and for Nancy, too
Date: 05 Jul 2017 11:02 pm Title: Chapter 26 - Patches of Godlight
Bah! Wrote a review and then lost it :(
I'm glad Meg is going to apologise tomorrow. I think it'll get her off to a fresh start, and then anyone who insists on harping back to earlier times will just set people wondering what problems they themselves are trying to hide from.
Helen is a real gem. Further glimpses into her story would be most welcome . . .! I loved the picture of them all sitting praying the office together - such a lovely peaceful ending to the day. I really hope they keep it going in some form after MA leaves. But I could weep for poor Gwynneth, thanking everyone for not hating her. It will take her a long time to forgive herself, whatever MA and Hilda say. She really is being turned upside down and inside out.
"Patches of Godlight in the woods of our experience" - I shall remember that. Thank you, Mary.
Author's Response: I'm sorry about your lost review, Anne! It happens all too frequently here! Thank you for your thoughts on Mother's suggestion of one more apology, and you're right. It may well shine a light on those who reject it. As for Matey, yes, she's having a hard time, but so is Nancy, and I can see MA and Hilda having to work hard for them both. But then, we all need a good shake now and then, to help us reflect on our behaviour and our approach to others. As for Helen, we get very little in the books, once she's introduced, but I'm not sure I'm up to giving her a back story. *grins* I'm so glad I quoted CS Lewis's words on Patches of Godlight since they appealed so much, Anne. It's a lovely thought, isn't it? Giving a name to the sort of experience we've all had at some time in our lives. Thank you.
Date: 05 Jul 2017 9:41 pm Title: Chapter 26 - Patches of Godlight
Ah! I love the way team Hilda is growing together into a more tightly knit group. Lots of strands are being gathered together, which is lovely. Bless Nancy whose first thought was “How did it go with Kathie?” and is so unconfident in her own gifts, and we see now, was heavily influenced by Matey’s attitude. The latter seems to be on a slow learning curve, what is happening to Hilda appears to be challenging her dominance, things are occurring which are beyond her own knowledge and experience and her confidence has taken a bashing. By the way – I hope she wasn’t too severe with the pillow fightersmin the last chapter ;-)
Thank you, Mary
Author's Response: Well, Matey did say they were all asleep, so obviously they weren't too despondent! *grins* Matey might be wondering what has hit her, but she does tend to expect everyone to jump to her commands, and that's not happening now, for Hilda has moved beyond being dictated to. Her words once she knew the truth show just how much! She sought to open both Matey's and Nancy's eyes as to where they need to improve in their approach to others and to their jobs, but did it gently, with no intention to hurt. But they saw what hiding the truth did to her - and that hurt them. So now they're suffering, but not for long!!!!
Date: 05 Jul 2017 10:05 am Title: Chapter 26 - Patches of Godlight
This was well worth the wait and moved me to tears several times. I don't know how you do it, Mary, but that Rilke quote was so perfect that it was as though you had crafted this whole story just to culminate in those words! Amazing! I loved the mental picture of them all sitting quietly together at the end of the day reading the office between them - what an oasis of calm. I was also glad to see Nancy being persuaded to go to Kathie, but sneakily happy that she was asleep, allowing Nancy to get away with just leaving a note - much easier than a tearful confrontation late at night! I really feel as though all these characters are my friends and I weep and rejoice with them as much as I do with my real-life friends. Thanks for another good read Mary.
Author's Response: Oh, my goodness, Jenny, what a beautiful review! You craft your own words with a sensitive touch to make something beautiful of them for me. I'm so glad at least two of you appreciate Rilke's words, because I'd squeeze him into every chapter, if I could. His ideas are so deep, sometimes needing a lot of thought, but for me they convey so much in so few words. I did giggle at you being pleased for Nancy that Kathie was asleep, and bless you for weeping and laughing with all these people, both EBD's and my own, and calling them friends.
Date: 05 Jul 2017 9:27 am Title: Chapter 26 - Patches of Godlight
Beautiful, as always. xx
Author's Response: Thank you for reading and reviewing - and liking!
Date: 05 Jul 2017 2:31 am Title: Chapter 26 - Patches of Godlight
What a beautifully reflective chapter, truly an oasis of calm after so many storms. I'm glad that Hilda is safely sleeping, and hope she will indeed sleep right through the night, and that Ellie, too, will do so, secure in her presence.
The fact Hilda is safely 'over', of course, leaves Mother free to talk with the others, providing a calmness and reassurance that so many of them needed. There are so many little things: the loving talk with Meg, Jeanne and Ellie; the journey back to Meg's dorm - yes, a very good thing that Vivien went along too, or MA might still be lost in the rabbit warren - and the appreciation the latter showed the three prefects, as well as her loving thanks to Jeanne and encouragement to Meg. The reassurance she and Vivien gave Nancy - and MA's appreciation of Vivien's great sensitivity to others' needs. The loving relationships which are growing between MA, Ian, Helen, Vivien, Gwynneth and Nancy, all of which are so beneficial to them all and can only help sustain Hilda once it's time for MA to return to Norfolk. I love the words from Rilke which Vivien has inscribed in that card - they really epitomise Hilda so well, don't they? The peaceful, communal praying of the Office provides a lovely calming end to the evening, one which is even more telling when MA's own singing of the Nunc Dimittis completes it. I think they will all benefit from a similar nightly gathering, at least while MA is there, and I'm sure Hilda will be very happy to be part of it as her strength returns. MA's final reassurance to Gwynneth must have meant a great deal to the latter - she really needed it.
So much accomplished, but so much yet to come. For a start, here's hoping that tomorrow sees Hilda refreshed and her recovery continuing - with MA keeping close watch to see she doesn't push too hard; that Kathie will benefit both from Hilda's words to hear and a solid night's sleep, and be ready to start making good on her promises; that Meg will continue to feel the support of most of her classmates, and that Ellie's hand continues to improve again.
Thank you, Mary - this wasn't meant to be another essay, but it's certainly turned into one!!
Author's Response: You're as kind and insightful as Jenny, Elder, so please don't apologise for the essay. Thank you for calling this chapter *an oasis of calm*, where I worried it was just boring. Everyone needed a slice of MA, didn't they? And got it! I'm so pleased you and Jenny liked the words from Rilke, as I thought it was so apposite for her, but also just because I love Rilke and would have him in every chapter if I could. *winks* As to the nightly gatherings, I think you'll find Hilda before you there, wanting to see as many of her staff and friends as she can. Then there's Ellie's birthday party, of course! I'm not sure I don't have far too much activity in this saga! But thank you so much for such a loving essay, Elder.
Date: 04 Jul 2017 11:00 pm Title: Chapter 26 - Patches of Godlight
Another beautiful update, Mary, thank you. Poor Matey, she did what she thought was for the best and I hope she won't keep beating herself up about it.
Author's Response: Thanks, shesings. MA and Hilda will make sure she doesn't!
Date: 04 Jul 2017 9:05 pm Title: Chapter 26 - Patches of Godlight
Author's Response: Bless you, Sarah! It's so lovely that you are managing to read it and find it worth the read.
Date: 04 Jul 2017 5:35 pm Title: Chapter 26 - Patches of Godlight
Glad you've neem able toconquer Windows 10 -hope it stays that way!
Do hope a good night's sleep will bring some measure of restoration to Hilda - she does need to be fit enough to fly to Boston, and she'll need to talk to Meg about her father before that in preparation for them hopefully meeting over half term.
This "family" is getting closer and closer, so they can be a comfort to those who need it. Nancy is very much in need at the moment, do hope Kathie will wake up ready to humble herself and the two of them can begin to mend a few fences.
Author's Response: Mmm, I hope Windows behaves itself, too, ivohenry! *grins* I think everyone there still needs to pray for Kathie overnight, but this new family seems to pull together and do exactly what's needed, so there's hope. Thank you.
Date: 04 Jul 2017 2:10 pm Title: Chapter 26 - Patches of Godlight
Thank you Mary it was worth waiting for. It is a gentle, peaceful chapter after the storms and does as you say move the characters onwards.
Meg and Kathy are now in a position to deal with the changes facing them and those around them are prepared for the challenges of the next few days.
Author's Response: I'm so glad you found it a gentle, peaceful chapter, Pauline. That was the aim, but I wasn't sure I'd achieved it.
Date: 04 Jul 2017 9:20 am Title: Chapter 25 - This Is The Wilderness Time
Well, Kathie certainly appears to be haeding in the right direction. Accepting help from both Hilda and MA is quite a step forward and she seems to have realised just how far she has to go to even attempt to get back to the real Kathie. I just hope that she is able to learn how to keep that jealousy under control and have to say I'm looking forward to her reaction to whatever MA has to say.
As for Helen - what a staunch friend she is proving to be for Hilda. Her instinctive understanding that Hilda needed to speak to Kathie along with her words to Nancy and Gwynneth show so much love an d support along with a practicality much needed int he situation. It would be wonderful to know that everyone has a friend like that in their lives.
I hope that one day Nancy will come to realise that her own nature is just as great as Hilda's albeit in a different way. I think they all needed that moment of humour she managed to bring in with the pillow fight even if it didn't help her very much.
MA, Vivien and Ian already seem to be a family of three rather than twins plus an extra which is lovely to see and I'm sure will go from strength to strength as time passes.
Author's Response: Thank you, Clair. Yes, Helen is lovely, and a true friend, as the next chapter will show you. As for Nancy, she still needs support to believe she can do it - but shell get there, as well all have to! Kathie has a lot to prove to people before they will trust her again, so I do hope she can manage it.
Date: 27 Jun 2017 12:22 pm Title: Chapter 25 - This Is The Wilderness Time
Apologies for being so slow to comment, Mary. RL has been a bit grim recently. So all I'm going to say now is "Thank you, as ever".
Author's Response: Thank you, Anne, and sending hugs for your problems.
Date: 26 Jun 2017 1:19 am Title: Chapter 25 - This Is The Wilderness Time
I so love Vivien. Nell chose her so well to help Hilda and give her someone who will love her and who she can trust to tell her straight.
The interlude with the pillow fight is just a typical reaction of the younger girls after all the trials and anxieties of recent days. Dealing with it may help Gwynneth regain her equilibrium as she doles out retribution as only she can.
But, I do feel there is more hope at last, Kathie's wall of healousy has been breached and she is ready (I hope) to try to redeem herself and make amends for the horrendous treatment she has dealt out.
I loved the picture of 'a badly-set jelly in an earthquake', too, but, finally, I do think Hilda would find it really beneficial to read Nell's diaries. I think they would help her understand her own feelings over the past months.
Thank you Mary.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for liking Vivien, Linda. I'm rather partial to her myself. *grins* I didn't dream her up. She just appeared with no warning, and this saga is better for her. Yes, that pillow fight was so typical, wasn't it? But we're all human! That 'badly-set jelly in an earthquake made me laugh so much when I read it that I had to include it somewhere. Hilda and I are not sure about those diaries yet. Perhaps we should discuss it in real life, Linda!! *smiles*
Date: 23 Jun 2017 1:55 am Title: Chapter 25 - This Is The Wilderness Time
A chapter worth waiting for. Helen has certainly come to the fore ensuring Hlda does what she needs to do and seeng her safely to bed, as well as pointing out to Nancy and Gwynneth their errors.
It was good to have the intelude of humour with the middles pillowfight, which will have given Gwynneth time to get back to her normal self.
I think Vivien surprised MA and Ian with her revelations of Nell soeaking to her and showed what a good friend she is to Hilda.
Hilda is going to need MA as she is still suffering mentally over her future choices'
I think that yes any suffering will help Kathie in her future position.
Loved the Paul Tillich quotes not heard of him so need to look him up, not only giving us wonderful stories but educatin g me as well. Thankyou Mary.
Author's Response: Thank you for the lovely review, Sue, and I'm so glad you enjoyed the humour in the middle about the pillow fight. It always strikes me that in the midst of the worse day ever, I will always happen on something funny. Hilda does indeed need MA, and perhaps only she knows just how much, but she also knows that troubles never depart quickly or quietly. Do explore Tillich. Like many another author, poet or theologian I've included, he's worth the effort of finding his work.
Date: 22 Jun 2017 2:53 pm Title: Chapter 25 - This Is The Wilderness Time
I'm posting this review on behalf of Rosemarie (who used to be Celia, until SDL rejected her!) because, for some reason, her review has also been rejected by SDL. Is Hilda up to mischief, I ask myself? *grins*
Rosemarie's review: "The poem by Theodosia Garrison captures exactly how Hilda felt when she lost Nell, and before that James. It must have been daunting to hear how much Kate still misses Stephen, even after thirty years. That's a whole heap more time for Hilda to hurt. Nevertheless having MA with her is obviously going to comfort and strengthen her, and will provide someone to chide and chivvy her in much the way Nell used to. As for Kathie, she was a loved and popular member of staff but to regain trust after such dreadful behaviour will be an uphill struggle such as the strongest soul would find fearful. Hearing the Lord will be a constant necessity I'm sure if she is to have the courage to climb her mountain. Thank you for a very interesting chapter, Mary."
Date: 21 Jun 2017 4:21 pm Title: Chapter 25 - This Is The Wilderness Time
Kathie finally seems to have accepted that her behaviour has been appalling. I'm sure she will now make amends where she can and hopefully she will keep her jealousy in check.
I wonder what will happen when Kathie goes home at Easter and tells her aunt all that has happened - if she does. Her aunt's advice was totally wrong but will she see that?
I am glad Hilda finally made it to bed before collapsing. Perhaps Nell will visit her to reassure her she is still doing the right thing and to tell her off of course!
Author's Response: Or perhaps Nell will have to remain quiet for a while, Seven, after her performance the night Hilda died! *grins*
Date: 19 Jun 2017 9:43 pm Title: Chapter 25 - This Is The Wilderness Time
My heart goes out to pretty much everyone in this chapter! Kate's observation that Kathie needed to go through this to help her come to maturity is astute but it seems so unfair that so many people have had to suffer in order to get her there. It is wonderful to see her draw closer to the Lord, but at what cost? Gwynneth and Nancy are also suffering because they lacked the courage to tell Hilda the truth and Kate had to go against them so that the truth came out; Ellie has suffered greater damage..... and Ian has had to open his heart to Kathie in order to help her. And yet, this may also develop the characters of the above mentioned which will stand them in good stead at a later time in their lives as well. We are all the sum of our experiences - Hilda's tough life has enabled her to give of herself now to her erring staff and pupils. Ian's experiences have enabled him to help those in anguish now. It is said that whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger but it's come pretty close with Hilda. I'm sure she feels herself a very weak vessel for the Lord at the moment. But how amazing her trust is. If only she can get the strength to persevere, more wonderful things may come to pass. There are so many lessons to learn from your writing, Mary, and I truly believe that you are doing the Lord's work here so please don't be discouraged by difficulties. I can't wait to see how the characters develop still further and really feel like a 'fly on the wall' wherever your story is set. Thank you for a lovely long chapter
Author's Response: Oh, Jenny, what a lovely review for an author to receive! I want to deny that there are many lessons to be learned from ND, as it seems to show pride, but I so wanted readers to take away help for grief, thoughts about their faith, acknowledgment that we are all weak and make mistakes and so should forgive others theirs, and just the comforting thought that God loves them. As to doing the Lords work, He and Hilda write it, Jenny. He inspired me to start as I had never written anything before ND was begun. Yes, I agree, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, and I hope some of my characters do now comes across as stronger. Hopefully Kathie will learn and grow, as Hilda has had to, and Ellie, and Ian, and indeed MA. No one escapes trials in this life, do they? It's what we do with them that counts. I'm sorry, Jenny, I've written an essay in response, but you wrote such a loving review.
Date: 19 Jun 2017 9:42 pm Title: Chapter 25 - This Is The Wilderness Time
Glad you finally overcame the gremlins in your computer!
This souinds hopeful for Kathie, and it's good that she's had a chance to meet Kate (and vice versa!) before going to the Convent.
Maybe Hilda can relax a bit on that situation and hopefully have a restful night. She still has issues to deal with - not least deciding how and when to talk to Meg about her father (and gtandfather)
Author's Response: Yes, indeed, ivohenry, she still has that to face. But she now has help and support of the very best kind. Thank you.
Date: 19 Jun 2017 12:07 am Title: Chapter 25 - This Is The Wilderness Time
It does sound as if Hllda may have got through to Kathie, but I just hope that the latter is able to make good on her present repentance and promises to do what she can to repair the wrongs she has wrought on so many people. It's clear that she has taken to heart both Vivien's and Ian's words, all of which has given Hilda a good foundation to work on, while Hilda's own openness (not something which comes easily to her) has spoken to her too. Building on all of that, and, I hope, encouraged by her experiences of the Lord and His words in the last few days, Kathie should be able to move forward - it won't be easy, and she'd exceptionally lucky if she can do so without any backsliding, but at least she now knows that she can (and must) ask for help when things get difficult. If not.... Meantime, both Gwyneth and Nancy will have to come to terms with how much they have hurt Hilda by their reluctance to tell her the truth - and to walk delicately "like Agag" until she herself can forgive them - she will do so, we know - she couldn't be Hilda if she didn't - but it may take a while.
I love it that Vivien is so comfortable with Mother, Ian and Helen that she feels able to tell them so much about the openness of her relationship with Hilda, and how it has evolved in just those few short months since Lausanne, and also to describe her own encounters with Nell's spirit. Mother, in particular must be thanking Heaven fasting that Vivien has shown herself to be such a present help. I'm glad that Mother and Helen bring Hilda's session with Kathie to an end - she truly is, as Helen says, beyond exhaustion, but needed to have that meeting. I'm also glad that Ian was there to carry her downstairs to her room - I doubt the other two could have managed to get her there otherwise. But above all, I'm glad that she has that session with Mother to soothe her to sleep - she needed her reassurance so much.
She has indeed done far more than anyone newly recovering from a brush with death should have tried to do, within the space of a few short hours, but having done it, and having received assurance that she has done well, I hope she will sleep the night through and awake in the morning, refreshed and at least somewhat strengthened, though we know full recovery will take longer. I don't blame Mother for wondering whether Hilda really will be fit for Boston in less than a week, but she does know both Hilda's will to recover and her strong faith - both will help her along that road. I also hope she realises just how much her own presence and encouragement (and her ability to apply restraint when necessary) will do to help Hilda along that "long and winding road."
Thank you, Mary - apologies for yet another essay!
Author's Response: No apology needed, Elder. Its lovely ND teases out so many thoughts. I love the thought of Nancy and Matey having to walk delicately *like Agag* The trouble is, Matey had already upset Hilda by revealing that nasty comment of Kathie's, so much as she will forgive them it will be hard to put it to one side - yet, to her, to forgive is also to forget. And how hard is that!?! Oh, yes, Vivien is most definitely one of them now, isn't she? As is Helen, who got to know Mother so well after the accident. Oh, Mother realises exactly how much Hilda needs her - wasn't she told so just now? *grins* Thank you so much, Elder.