Saturday, 28 December 2019


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.


Jillian said...

Such a lovely description beautiful words xxx

Pen Wilcock said...


Hello, friends. Waving from Hastings! xx

Suzan said...

What picture paint. All is snug and I am sure the sparkle of lights adds so much atmosphere. Our Christmas blessing was rain. Not enough to break the drought but our world is greener.

Pen Wilcock said...

Suzan, I am so thankful you have rain. May it continue.

Sandra Ann said...

What a precious gift, handmade with much love xx

Pen Wilcock said...



j said...

I just read part of a book this morning in which the author says something like, "Truth, beauty and goodness are things we never get bored with, never get enough of." I see Lake Superior in all its moods each day, and its beauty never seems ho-hummish to me. Always stunning and breathtaking. I love your photos here too. xoxo

Pen Wilcock said...

Oh, yes! I live by the ocean now, as you know, but I grew up inland, in farming country, not near to any great body of water. Only as a young adult (22) did I move down here to the sea. But forty years on and I cannot contemplate being away from it. The sparkle of sunlight on the ocean surface is the most beautiful thing I know. Well . . . and maybe Venus in a clear sky near the foot of a new moon . . . or the sunrise . . . or the song of a nightingale . . . or (a memory from over 20 years ago) Buddhist nuns sitting in total stillness in their dawn meditation, as daylight slowly entered the room mingling with the arising smoke of incense . . .