Madeleine L'Engle is one of my all time favorite writers. When she died this past September, I found myself blogging and googling and wishing there could be just one more book. How nice that SongBird shared the gift of WinterSong, a book that I had somehow missed over the years.
For many, L'Engle is the author of the children's classic A Wrinkle in Time. For others, she is the writer of wonderful journals such as The Summer of the Great-Grandmother and Two Part Invention. For me, she is a kindred spirit, able to voice spiritual joys and sorrows in language I truly aspire to create.
Reading a book like WinterSong is a lot like sitting down with a box of fine chocolates. One is good. Two is great. Three, woo! But to do the whole thing in one sitting? Maybe not. And really, the English major in me says that a book like this should be savored over a period of time, not consumed in one fell swoop. With that in mind, I've picked a few bits and pieces for conversation. If you don't have a copy of the book, follow this link. If I've neglected your favorites, please don't be shy!
- After Annunciation: This poem by L'Engle has stayed with me for weeks. What has filled you up this Advent season? Is it the reason and the busy-ness? Is there room for the joy and wonder? How do we make room to receive the gift of the child?
- Winter Nights: Shaw's words to her daughter poignantly tell of the winter of life. You can almost feel the stitches of the "head thing." I don't have a question to ask about this poem, other than, tell us what you think/feel?
- That Tiny Flame: It is the spirit reflected in this piece by L'Engle that makes me love her so. At a time when I needed to know that other folks struggle, there she was! Whose words have strengthened you in your journey? Who has opened their life to you in a way that has helped you to feel more up for the challenge that is the life of faith?
- That'll preach! There are at least 15 good December sermons in this book. What inspires you from the pages of WinterSong?
That's it for the questions, pals. If you have a favorite poem, essay or even turn of phrase from this book, please share with us. If you have not picked up this book, I heartily commend it to you. It makes a wonderful devotional resource and there are lovely bits for Advent and Christmas sermons.