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

Excerpted Inspirations #5

“Every grownup at the Herb of Grace and Damerosehay was determined that this should be the children's Christmas, such a Christmas as they had not known in their unsettled young lives. They themselves looked forward to it with a certain amount of dread...

The state of the world and their own fatigue combined to make them feel that a condition of mind humble and prayerful, meals requiring the minimum of preparation, and recreation consisting of nothing more strenuous than dozing in an armchair with a detective story were their idea of a suitable Christmas under the circumstances... But that would not do for the children, and they girded themselves with heroism for the fray. And as it turned out, not in vain, for when the time came it was for all of them, the grownups as well as the children, a day of sheer delight, one of those magical times that are not forgotten while life lasts, a time when it seems nothing can go wrong, as though human imperfection were aided and sustained by something outside itself, and just for once allowed to bring to perfection everything that it attempted. John Adair, looking back afterwards, remembered that from the very beginning he had been aware of the pulse of creative joy beating in the house. So great was its strength that he should not have been taken by surprise when it broke right through the crust of things and took them all in charge.”

-Elizabeth Goudge, Pilgrim's Inn (1948), p. 317

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