'For our wonder and our war'

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

via Pinterest
'This world is as wild as an old wife's tale,
And strange the plain things are;
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.
- Christmas Poem, 
G.K. Chesterton

In my grand estimation of things, I have been seeing myself as quite busy; I guess you knew that already though, seeing how little I have been blogging these past days. I have written some in A Love that Never Fails, but not anything to boast about - how trying it is to get past this 'first chapter' stage! And I keep reminding myself that this is only the very, very first draft and it can all be nonsense for what its worth so long as I just keep on writing. So far, this sound piece of wisdom which I have imbibed from so many others doesn't seem to be penetrating my brain very successfully though. Ho hum!

At any rate, I thought that there was this piece of a letter that Jane wrote to her father who's in England's Royal Air Force (RAF), early on in the war. I can't see it at all as fitting into the book so I thought I might share it somewhere. I hope you enjoy it - it has the hand of originality about it, only because it is so ramble-y and eloquent-less in its content. But then, Jane doesn't ask you to pass judgement on her writing... right now, she cares little how good it is. She's only trying to grow up amid a war that she cannot understand, trying to find the 'peace that is put in impossible things', and cope with her father being away where the clash of war puts him daily at risk.

August 4th, 1940, London

Dearest Pappa,
It seems so hard to put into a few scrawled words of ink and paper the words a girl wants to write to her dear father: I guess you know all that I would say if I could, even if I did not write them. But, I just want you to know that I miss you.  So much. Daily I think of you - wondering, as I peep through the black-curtained window of our attic, where you are and what you might be doing and if you are safe. I try to pray, remembering the things you told me. I know God hears those prayers and knows the ones deep inside of us that are unspoken too. There is just that one prayer, that I keep on asking though. The words seem to be always the same... you know?

Life at home hasn't changed so much for Grandmamma and me, only in little things which seem so big at the same time—perhaps I feel them all the more because of your absence and because of the closeness of the war around us. Every day now, when I walk to school I see the tell-tale signs of the coming warfare in those dreadful black-out screens on the shop windows, the air-raid sirens that keep on toiling, and the sandbags piled high before the shelter buildings, and in the anxiety and sadness on the faces of everyone I see. I wish I could give each of them a big hug and a comforting word or smile; I know that it would make me feel happier as well. But how can I? It just seems... so, so... wrong. Grandmamma has been silent and sad but not discouraged - she is so brave, it makes my flimsy determination seem so thin! But it is scary, Pappa. I hear the sound of the bomber-planes at night and I cower deep-down inside of me, while I pretend I am not afraid at all. Oh, Pappa! I cordially detest wars, and wish them to cease. But they don't... or won't, will they? Not the way we quite want them to now... but when the curtains of this world are rolled back then He'll come again and all our striving shall cease. Then the lamb will sleep with the lion. And until then His peace is here with us, inside of us. Sometimes, like a fool, I forget that; I keep looking at the storm and tempest... and then, I pray, and I know that everything is right... not necessarily alright, but right - because Jesus is walking on the water with me. What could be better?

I wish I could ask about all that you are doing, Pappa, but that would be silly. But if you do have something that you can write about, I am all ears! Grandmamma and I are doing just fine; we don't eat strawberry and cream scones any more, but Grandmamma is a magician in the kitchen - I wish such blessings were transportable by mail so I'd send you a batch of her muffins! As to school, well, I am enjoying my classes—if only I did not have grammar lessons to reckon with. My teacher, Miss Frost, is the perfect specimen of strictness! She gave me the look of February last week upon including two exclamation marks in my creative-writing essay. How dull. I miss the Literature lessons I had with you fiercely - they were not like flat soda, and, by George, so imaginative! Do you still get time to write in your book of poems? I miss those - especially the one about the bluebird; I still cry every time I read those last four lines. They remind me of you.
               Pappa, I am thankful from the bottom of my heart that I have a father like you! I love you so much. May God keep you and protect you with the palm of His Hand, and be with you. Grandmamma and I pray for you every day.
            Much love from your little girl,
P.S. Grandmamma sends her love to you too in a little package of hugs and kisses.
P.S.S. I have been reading Dickens lately, and I stashed away in my notebook a few quotes of his. Here is one that I hope might gladden your heart like a drop of cordial!
 "Nothing that we do, is done in vain. I believe, with all my soul, that we shall see triumph.” – Charles Dickens