Still reading Pilgrim's Inn by Elizabeth Goudge. Long been a fan, since we read City of Bells in book club many years ago. I found two new Goudge books at the last AAUW book sale. (Where I wasn't buying, just looking........ok, buying a FEW things.....ok, buying more than a few things......but I COULDN'T HELP IT!)
I read her Green Dolphin Street earlier this year, and enjoyed it. And am enjoying this one, too, though I think it's not as good. It's too obvious that everything is going to turn out perfectly, too early on.
However, one of the things I like very much in Goudge's books is her understanding that life does not always run the way we would have it and that we are bound, by our faith and by our status as full human beings, to act in an honorable way--to do the right thing--whether it is easy for us or not. Doing so leads to happiness, though not in the pleasure seeking way. Not doing so only leads to sorrow or meanness or dishonor.
I am much attracted to the author's depiction of goodness as well. It is easy, especially in our times, to be attracted to the dark and evil. Every actor always says that it is the bad guy parts that are most fun to play. Goudge has a way of describing good in a way that makes you want to see it in real life. And for her, good is all tied up with simplicity. Those who are good are often, at first, taken as being, oh, not quite as "smart" as the rest of us, you know. But time proves, to the eyes of those who can see, that these people are actually the blessed, and the ones capable of blessing others. Which those "smart" people usually find out over the course of the book.
The other characteristic of these good people is their ability to live in the now and to enjoy what there is to enjoy in the moment--they love nature, they love cooking for people, they love gardening, they love food--but in the proper way. They love them simply for themselves, and recognize them for the gifts of grace that they are.
This is giving me much to think about during this advent season. I suppose inspiration comes from diverse places! When our world is so hustle-bustle, and not just at Christmas time, have we lost the ability to enjoy what's right before our eyes? To make ourselves truly present to those around us, those who might need us, without looking at our watch every 15 minutes to hustle on to the next thing? Would we be better served to do less, but do it better, that is, more mindfully???
Hmmmmm. All of this from a novel.
How 'bout ya'll?