Monday, March 7, 2011

Stillmeadow


"Sometimes I go away by myself, up the hill, far enough from Stillmeadow so that I only see the slope of the roof almost lambent with sunset. Holly may come along with me, for she does not disturb the aloneness.
From the upper abandoned orchard the yard is partly visible, dotted comfortably with cockers and cats. If there are guests or children at home, and there usually are, the sound of their voices comes dreamily from the open space where the lawn furniture is.
Somewhere, someone is forever pounding a typewriter, the sound of the typewriter never ceases at Stillmeadow.
There it all is below me, this little world within a world, and I sit down on a warm gray ledge upholstered with feathery lichens and think about it in relation to the rest of the world.
The terrible suffering that man is undergoing all over the earth is like a tidal wave to overwhelm civilization. If we think of this, what can we find in the whole round turning earth to make any life good?
The intolerance sickens the soul. Race again race, caste against caste-- by what dreadful arrogance could I believe myself better than another woman because my skin is pale?
But here in the country we may establish one small territory dedicated to love instead of hate, and possibly that is why we were born. And just possibly when all men have homes, hate will diminish all over the world.
Looking down on Stillmeadow I see the years that have gone, and the mark of them is a good and kindly mark, for the trees have grown, and the lilacs are spreading graciously. When Nature devastates the whole yard full of old and lovely apple trees, she begins new life the next season with young maples, and that year the mallows are as big as full moons.
If I were a wise woman, I should understand many things about life which I do not now understand. Maybe I would know why there is so much evil walking the highways, why men must suffer, why the governments operate like kaleidoscopes instead of like good blueprints for living, why gentle people must die too soon.
I think about all these things, up in the old orchard with Holly's muzzle soft in my  hand. And about the first people who owned Stillmeadow's forty acres more or less. What dreams they had of a fair world with liberty and justice for all.
And suddenly I know. I know there is a dream that will not die, and that Stillmeadow, in a small and quiet way, is an affirmation of that dream."

- Gladys Taber


15 comments:

  1. Erin, what a lovely post. I'm off to google the author. Ypu have peeked my interest.

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  2. Sigh...
    I just love Gladys Taber!
    Love your new blog look too!
    Great header!
    Lovely morning visit with my coffee!
    Thanks,
    Joanne

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  3. I just returned from Lynchburg, VA to visit my daughter. It is truly a beautiful place and Gladys Taber taught at Randolf-Macon Women's College for a while. I can see why she wrote about the beauty of that region.

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  4. I just found this blog today, and I must say, we must be sisters who were separated at birth! I know exactly where your dream house is, I have haunted that area of Sandwich for years, I love that old graveyard overlooking Shawme pond. I am in love with the Hoxie house, and all things Sandwich. I also have never found anyone else who has read Gladys Taber, at least here in central Illinois. I have visited the cape ever since I was ten, and it has been my lifelong dream to live there, but being married to a corn and soybean farmer, not bloody likely! We moved out here from NJ in 1992, heck, I was so much closer than I am now, but I guess I decided to let hubs have his dream of farming in the Midwest. Maybe someday!

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  5. Your readers who like Gladys Taber's writing, may be interested in joining the Friends Of Gladys Taber, a national group of other like-minded women (mostly) who can't get enough of Gladys. We are a nonprofit volunteer group and have a very minimalist website (still under construction),

    www.FriendsOfGladysTaber.org

    We have about 450 members from across the USA, Canada, Australia, etc. Take a look at our webpage and email me for more info if you'd like.

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  6. Beautifully inspirational and thought-provoking post, Erin. ♥

    xoxo laurie

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  7. Charming and hopeful: "...we may establish one small territory dedicated to love instead of hate..."

    Love your new header.

    I tweeted re your blog for those who need a New England fix: http://twitter.com/cspod/status/45428020370092032

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  8. Oh, Erin that was so wonderful! I am a big fan of Gladys and was going to offer the information which Susan did above. There is a publication sent out four times year full of all things Gladys. You would love it. Thank you for this posting.

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  9. But what are you up to? Still hard at work in school? Spring is a comin' !

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  10. Hi dear Erin,

    Ok, so you're a member of the Grimy Hands Girls' Club. Did you already send your snail mail address so we can fill an envelope with goodies for you?

    Love this quote from Gladys. She always had a way of soothing the sorrows of the world.

    All joys,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

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  11. A timely post after hearing of the devastation in Japan.

    I always loved Gladys Taber's quotes in the Susan Branch cookbooks.

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  12. Good morning, Erin. I do believe I have a Gladys Tabor book downstairs that I purchased from a resale shop this past summer. I'm not positive, but now I have to go and look. I have a huge pile of books that I purchased from resale shops and antique shops that I'm still making my way through.

    I hope you are doing all right and are well.

    Hugs,
    Susan

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  13. Erin..

    First I love your new header... and did truly enjoy this piece by Gladys Tabor!!!

    Hope all is well with you....

    Blessings..
    xoxo Gert

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  14. we sure are cut from the same cloth...i LOVE everything the same as you, my friend...
    love your new header..i have that calendar...love yankee candles...have "buttercream" burning right now...LOVE gladys taber...i have all her books...love tasha tudor...i LOVE new England and i LOVE YOU !!!!

    happy to see you today, erin
    sending love,
    kary and teddy
    xxx

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Thanks for your thoughts!

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