An Odoriferous Alchemy

The first three months of this year were filled to bursting with good things. School resumed with Hilary term in January, and although I was only taking one class (Italian Renaissance Art), it was every bit the challenge that my previous Oxford courses have led me to...

Afresh

My dear friend Sarah had an enchanting post today about May Morning in Oxford. It’s a pageant I’ve always longed to witness, and one which Philip and I have promised ourselves we’ll experience in person one day. Reading about it in her words,...

Advent: a sonnet

I had the honor and pleasure of teaming up with illustrator Jonny Jimison for The Rabbit Room‘s collaborative Advent project pairing poets and artists. Jonny did a fantastic job illustrating my sonnet: Also, here’s something fun: a podcast I recorded with...

Heart's Open Door

Hello, friends. I hope you’re each enjoying this second week of Advent. Second week already? How can it be? One of the interesting things about being a writer is that you tend to experience and observe life at the same time. I’ve generally got a commentary humming...

Staff Work of the Omnipotence

I gave into a cold last weekend. It had been pursuing me for days, ever since we got home from the yearly gathering of our tribe in Nashville, but it finally caught up with me. This meant, among other things, that we did not go to the boat for the weekend, and we did...

Nulla dies sine linea*

I’ve shared it in this space before, but one of my very favorite Elizabeth Goudge passages comes from the 1936 A City of Bells. The dreamy child Henrietta has just returned from an exciting stint in Edwardian London, and, upon her homecoming, experiences a sort-of...

Surprised by Joy

I had the privilege of presenting last weekend at the From Death Unto Life conference in Franklin, Tennessee, and one of my sessions was a short plenary on William Wordsworth’s immortal sonnet, “Surprised by Joy” (the poem from which C.S. Lewis took...

March 14

I remember the way you talked about your daddy, How your eyes would dim when you said he was only 81. “He’d have lived to 100, if he hadn’t smoked.” I understand, now. I know the waking panic of 3 AM; The nauseating sense that a great mistake has been made— A wrong...

Ladies' Choice

Looking back, I’ve always called it the Annus Mirabilis: my own little wonderful year. Its wonders consisted not in calamity (thank goodness!), nor were they even of a particularly earth-shattering nature. But it was a (mostly) happy year for me, dawning in the sudden...

Some recipes and a winner!

It is my pleasure to announce the winner of the drawing for a copy of Sally and Sarah Clarkson’s new book The Lifegiving Home: Linda, who describes home as a shelter of “grace-oriented” relationship (what a beautiful image!). Linda, if you will send me...

The Pleasures of Tea

photo credit: Mark Geil I confess, I find it difficult to comprehend the mindset which relegates the consumption of hot tea to cold weather. Call it an addiction, but I down my daily quota year-round, whether, like today, I’m cozy by the fire with flurries flying...