Sunday, 15 June 2014

Desiring what is good, What Katy did

The poem that I wrote in my post yesterday was by Susan Coolidge, (1835 - 1905). She wrote under the pen name of Sarah Chauncey Woolsey. The books I read by her were 'What Katy did' and 'What Katy did next'. My mum also read these books when she was a child, and we both loved them They were based on the author's own childhood and contemporary with 'Little Women' by Louise Alcott.
The Katy books told the story of a young girl growing up in Ohio. Her father was a busy doctor and she and her brothers and sisters were looked after by her aunt. Katy is mischievous and gets into all sorts of trouble. One day she goes on a swing even though she had been told not to and has an accident. She is then confined to bed while her spine heals and eventually learns to walk again. In the book we are often told that Katy wants to be good, she wants to be kind. It is during the years that she is  bed ridden that she learns lots of lessons in getting on with people and being a source of strength and kindness for those around her. I  was thinking about this story today while looking at a photo of my mum. She spent quite a large part of her long life as a disabled person. Like Katy, people sought her companionship, her advice and her consolation. Often the carers that looked after her told me that they felt so much better and richer spiritually for having been with her. They felt that she was the one doing the caring.
George Eliot (1819 - 1880)- really Mary Ann Evans, who wrote 'Middlemarch', wrote this about looking for what is good.

 By desiring what is perfectly good, even when we don't quite know what it is and cannot do what we would, we are part of the divine power against evil - widening the skirts of light and making the struggle with darkness narrower.

Here is the link to get you in the mood for the summer festivals of live music of The Libertines and The Babyshambles song called 'What Katy did'

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