Once upon a time in England, lived a quiet, shy girl, who loved nothing more than to lose herself in the pages of a book. She also loved to draw, write and take photographs. When she was 12 she started 5 years of Domestic Science classes at school, in which she discovered a passion for cooking. She loved English, art and history and singing hymns. When not reading or drawing, she was always busy sewing, knitting or doing embroidery.
The year she turned 12 her parents gave her a five year diary for Christmas. It only lasted her for four years because once she turned 16 she couldn't fit everything she wanted to say into the small space available.
In 1963 her father made his two children a heavy wooden sled, (which English children call a "sledge.") It was painted maroon, and because he also nailed aluminum strips to the wooden runners, it ran as swift as the wind! That winter the girl developed chilblains--painful itchy patches on the backs of her heels, from prolonged time spent outside in the cold in damp footwear.
This is what she wrote on this day, December 29th, over the four years she kept the diary!
Daddy's finished our sledge. But a sledge isn't much good without snow. Oh, for the fun of whizzing down the hill at top speed.
Today the snow thawed a little and I was the only girl on the sledge track. They waited for me to go down and then raced down after me and pelted me with snow.
Today the ice thawed and then froze again. There was a queue of about 20 cars up Bear Hill. One overturned and another skidded right around. I had a Christmas card from Han. It was sweet; much nicer than the one I sent him. I realize now that I never really liked Andrew. It was four months ago exactly yesterday since I met Han at Eskaline's party.
After work today Eileen phoned to invite me over on Saturday night. Di phoned later, when I was having a bath, so I had a mad dash out. I helped Margaret type out some addresses. It is nice to spend an evening at home for a change. There are so many little things to do. Di has done her hair like mine.
On December 30, 1966 she wrote:
Tomorrow will be the last time I write in this diary. Sad in a way, but I've grown out of the ink blot and funny lyrics on the fly page stage. I wonder what will become of me in the next year. So much has happened in the past two years especially...I cleared my bedroom out tonight. That has changed too, from a mess of school books and satchels to a place full of little bottles of perfume and boxes full of treasures and mysterious sweet smelling jars.
It is hard to believe that the girl that I was, wrote those words almost 50 years ago! Eileen is still my friend--we spoke by phone just yesterday, but Diana, mentioned in the 1966 entry, died in January 2003 of breast cancer. We were friends to the end.
Although I haven't recently whizzed down a hill on a sled, all the things I loved then, I love now.
I felt so completely different to everyone else in my family back then that I wondered if I had been planted among them by aliens. It has taken all of the intervening decades to relax into my skin and recognize that like every other person in the world, I have my place and unique purpose to fulfill, just as I am. My purpose, and how it fits with all that I am, unfolds daily.
I don't believe God is threatened by our questions and uncertainties, and as I continue my journey of life, it is as a seeker of God's truth; growing in an ever deeper understanding of who he is and who and how we should be that rings true to my heart and spirit. From girlhood to womanhood the journey of growth continues!