Posted by Nancy, the dark-haired lass on December 14, 2000 at 20:44:35:
December ye 14th 1758
A message for
Many Flags at
Allemangel, County of Berks
Dear Many Flags,
Seamus is sleeping. He improves every day; thanks, I believe, to his stubbornness and the stronger broths he has been able to take. Our prayers are working, and I just know he will one day recover fully.
As I write this, a gentle snow is falling, making this special place in the forest even more beautiful. The snow is falling in large flakes...just drifting down and sticking to everything it touches, dressing the world in a beautiful white cloak. There is no air moving. It is so quiet...only the slight hiss of the fire burning can be heard.
Quasi and Uncle Angus have gone off to the fort for some supplies. Before they left they brought a large supply of firewood to the woodbox and onto the porch so we would have enough while they were away. They may have to wait a day or two to return if the snow gets deep.
I decorated the little cabin for the Christmas Season yesterday. I gathered white pine, fir and spruce branches, ground pine and laurel, winterberries and teaberries, and have fashioned them into garlands, wreaths, swags and plaques, and have placed them with loving care on the windows, door and mantle. By tomorrow I will have finished the pine roping and will wrap it around the porch railing. I enjoyed myself very much doing that, and it has certainly lifted my spirit!
I donít believe there are any more beautiful things in Godís world than the flowers and trees. The colors, textures and shapes of the shells of once-living and colorful plants, and the delicious fragrances of the evergreens have a beauty that one cannot properly describe. Gathered together and used to brighten up oneís home allows them a useful existence even after their lives are over. Is this our purpose in Heaven after our lives are over, to brighten up GodĎs home?
Many Flags, you have been here. This little cabin is a mystical place, would you say? One gets a feeling of deep peace here. When I came into the woods from the main trail and started back here with Timothy, a feeling I cannot describe washed over me, and has stayed with me. I find myself, as we all do, speaking in hushed tones even indoors. It is as if we are intruding and do not want to be discovered or disturb the tranquility of the outdoors. The animals of the forest come and go, seemingly indifferent to our intrusion, yet outside of these woods, they bolt at the first sight of a human.
I was reading the Journal that Seamus keeps here, and in it, I found a poem that says it all.
Determination and sweat, they created a clearing
Surrounded by a split-railed fence
Marking the end of forest shade and the beginning of sunlight;
Swaying pines soften the angular corners of the rough-hewn logs
Stacked carefully to form the small enclosure.
Wide steps and a comfortable porch lead to the wooden door
Its rope handle pulled out in welcome.
A winter wreath marks the season,
A mandela of green boughs and red berries.
Inside, a place of dreams
Where a contentment is found by the fireside
That lingers like heat in the chunks of mountain stone.
Here, problems seem to fade into the dark shadows
Between flickering candles.
At one with the world yet away from it,
This place has no place in time.
Past, present, future--they are all blurred here,
In this necessary haven for the mind and body,
This source of peace and joy for the spirit.
This was written by Neewa, a friend of his from some years ago. Uncle Quasi told me she is an Indian medicine woman whom Seamus knew from his travels with the Nanticokes. She had stayed here on her way to Ft. Augusta on a few occasions. I wish she would come by again soon. Perhaps she could help us with his recovery.
I will end now, Flags, and go tend to my Seamus and the fire. It will soon be dark and I must do some things while I have enough light. We are looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks for the hunt.
My fondest regards to you and Magdalena,
Nancy, the dark-haired lass
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