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  • Writer's pictureLinda Odhner, with photos by Liz Kufs

Excerpted Inspirations #105

I don’t know how long we’d been asleep when I felt someone shaking me, and I opened my eyes and it was Mother, holding a flashlight. “Put something warm on, Vicky,” she said, “and come downstairs and see fairyland.” I put on my bathrobe and fuzzy slippers and wrapped a blanket around myself and ran downstairs, and so did everybody else. Daddy had Rob rolled up in a blanket and was carrying him, which pleased Rob very much. We looked outdoors and the moon was high and full and it streamed through the trees and every single tiny twig was cased in ice and shimmered like diamonds. And the ground shimmered too, because it was covered with spangles of ice. The two birches were twin shining arcs of ice that seemed to be spraying rays of light. As the wind shook the trees tiny bits of ice would break off and catch the moonlight as they fell to the ground. Little clouds scudded across the moon, and it made the moon look as though it were flying across the sky; and then the trees made long delicate shadows that came and went across the icy ground. It was so beautiful we couldn’t speak, any of us. We just stood there and looked and looked. And suddenly I was so happy I felt as though my happiness were flying all about me, like sparkles of moonlight off the ice. And I wanted to hug everybody, and tell how much I loved everybody and how happy I was, but it seemed as though I were under a spell, as though I couldn’t move or speak, and I just stood there, with joy streaming out of me, until Mother and Daddy sent us up to bed.  -Madeleine L’Engle, Meet the Austins (1960) , pp. 133-134

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