Friday, September 07, 2007

Thank you, Madeleine.

I discovered Madeleine L'Engle's books in middle school, through friends who had read them in childhood. I devoured them; I read everything, then. I didn't read her again until my late 20's, when I searched her name in the Seattle Public Library, on a rainy late-fall day, and found her adult books. I read Wrinkle again, three years ago, while working with a class of third-graders. It was their teacher's favorite book.

And I feel as though I've again lost my grandmother--who was, to this child's mind, a keeper of her own magic.

They were of the same generation, and both storytellers; though my grandmother's stories were of her own childhood as a lively, mischievous Baptist preacher's kid in Virginia. When I think of Madeleine, I think of stars and beyond stars, love, time-travel, and God.

I'm missing both of them, right now.

"A sky full of God's children! Each galaxy, each star, each living creature, every particle and subatomic particle of creation, we are all children of the Maker. From a subatomic particle with a life span of a few seconds, to a galaxy with a life span of billions of years, to us human creatures somewhere in the middle in size and age, we are made in God's image, male and female, and we are, as Christ promised us, God's children by adoption and grace.

I stand on the deck of my cottage, looking at the sky full of God's children, and know that I am one of them."

from "A Sky Full of Children," Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas. Farmington, PA: Plough, 2001.
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