Tuesday, February 22, 2011

On Agate Hill

There are times when nothing else will do but a good story...I can't think of anything else happening in any other time, so most likely when I say "there are times" I really mean "all the time" This is my latest good story and I can't put it down.

Let me share with you some of the bits I love the best:

"I was much too excited to sleep. The dew fell around us, turning fast to frost which had given the whole countryside a shine well before we reached Agate Hill. I pushed the robe down so I could feel the frost on my face, for I want to feel everything Dear Diary. I want to feel everything there is. I do not want to be a lady."
"I will be very happy to share Agnes's little stone fairy house where I will have a room of my own for the first time ever in my life, a room so small it is like my cubbyhole at Agate Hill but nevertheless my own, it is a start. It has pink wallpaper with darker pink roses on it in a repeating lattice print, they are so beautiful. And a little window with a a lace curtain and a view of the side yard and the giant elm with its great limbs making a leafy room where the day students gather around the old stump to eat their lunches in fair weather -- and beyond that the orchard, then the woods. And Agnes says we will have a cat too, I cannot wait!"
"A whippoorwill was singing in my ear. the wet grass was scratchy and cold on my face. I dug my hands into it, squeezing great wet clumps as hard as I could. I felt like a fool, or like a person just awakening from a long, long dream. No one had come to commencement for me, no one was missing me now. All the girls and all their families, all the life that I have known here at Gatewood Academy will be gone in the twinkling of an eye, as in the Bible. No matter how much I have tried to fool myself, in that instant I knew the truth. I am still an orphan girl, loose in the world, and do you know what, Mary White? I like it that way!"
"I have the clearest image of Molly in her plain brown dress...ringing the bell as hard as she could while barefooted children straggled up the red hill, giggling and shy, swinging their little lunch buckets. A few carried hornbooks as well. The old bell, donated by the Methodist Church in Jefferson, was neither tinny nor mournful but had a lovely clear tone. It sounded like an invitation pealing out over the mountains. And here they all came, little boys and girls ranging in age from six to twelve or thirteen, so many more than we expected...They would have to sit two to a desk. I stood at the door to welcome them. "Girls on the right, boys on the left," I said, forming them into two lines. Oh how hopeful and sweet and scared they seemed, gap-toothed and grinning, holding hands, wiggling and wriggling, some of their clothes ill-fitting and threadbare but clean as could be for the opening of the Bobcat School."
"'Jesse is entirely right,' I said, changing my mind in an instant, for I hope I never grow too old to learn from a child."

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