There is so much beauty in the world.
On Christmas Eve, there's that moment beginning the Kings College Cambridge radio-broadcast carol service, when into the silence one of the choristers sings the first verse of Once In Royal David's City.
There's the winter landscape, the sere brown of bare trees silhouetted against a silver sky, the gentle curves of farmland in shades of buff and cocoa.
There are the harmonies and descants of carols, the mellow grandeur of brass instruments, the ethereal magic of the harp, the strum of a guitar for Silent Night.
There's firelight as night falls, and the clear, cool air outside, the stars showing one by one, vivid against the navy blue sky.
There's the bright eye of the crow on the fence, come down for his meaty scraps.
Already in the grass, the sturdy spears of spring flowers are showing through, and a primrose is blooming amid the moss in our front garden.
Yesterday at a party, I sat gazing in delight at our friends' Christmas tree all lit with real candles —
— in their riotously sumptuous living room, the fruit of years of constant work and imagination —
And I wore the earrings Alice and Hebe made me for Christmas, from Kazumi pearls and opals and gold! Glorious. Such finery. Such expense, even to make. And it's not because they are rich — they are not — but because they love me. They made the box, too.
Gold, frankincense and myrrh. So much beauty.