Are you a card saver like me?
When beautiful birthday cards or special notes come in the mail I just cannot bear to throw them out ... instead, I keep them close at hand for dreary days when my spirit needs a pick-me-up ... and then I re-read all those lovely words and tender sentiments and all the love and friendship in the words make my heart feel light again! Writer/philosopher, art critic John Ruskin (1819-1900) wrote over 500 letters to friend and author/illustrator Kate Greenaway (1846-1901) during his lifetime and she responded with over DOUBLE that number to him!
John Ruskin (1819-1900) Kate Greenaway (1846-1901)
His 1885 birthday greeting to her is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen....
It is your birthday! And so I will wish you on this and every birthday, this:
Some new love at lovely things. Some new forgetfulness of the teasing things. And some higher pride in the praising things. And some sweeter peace from the hurrying things. And some closer fence from the worrying things.
And longer stay of time when you are happy.
And lighter flight of days which are unkind.
What a delight it must have been to receive that note! — written by hand, with pen and ink, of course. Texts and emails are ever so convenient, but there is nothing quite like getting a hand-written note from the heart. In 1984, almost a century after Ruskin wrote his greeting, The Rev. Kathy Eddy who at that time was a UCC pastor in Randolph, Vermont, composed a beautiful anthem based upon his words. Eileen McCann has often — so exquisitely — sung this at NMCC, accompanied by piano and Bethy Clemmons playing her beautiful cello. Click here to listen! COME TO CHURCH THIS SUNDAY AND YOU CAN HEAR HER SING IT IN PERSON!!
And as God’s Beloved — when you listen — close your eyes and imagine that God is singing these words just for you.