Today’s writing prompt from my writing group sparked connections between the book that I am currently reading and a choral response, so I am taking that form today and using letters exchanged between Barbara Webster and Gladys Taber in 1953 from their farms as I converse with these late authors. Secret Confession: I think I have a writer’s crush on Gladys Taber.

Gladys, from Stillmeadow (Connecticut, 1953): “Do you ever have a moment that is absolutely exquisite? Such moments are rare. They are like holding a pink pearl in your palm. Happiness, I think, is being able to live these moments when they come.”

Kim, from the Funny Farm (Georgia, 2020): A pink pearl, for me, is a cold winter’s morning: a toasty fire, a cozy blanket, a charming book, and my two rescues dozing in my lap.

Barbara, from Sugar Bridge (Pennsylvania, 1953): “Sometimes I think that if I had a whole new life to lead, I’d like nothing so much as to be a really good gardener.”

Kim, from the Funny Farm (Georgia, 2020): I’d be the female Henry David Thoreau, carving out three years to live in a cabin by the lake in a sparsely-furnished space with a rich supply of paper and ink.

Gladys, from Stillmeadow (Connecticut, 1953): “Yes, it takes living to find out what values life has. Most of us, as we grow older, gentle the wild ponies of our heart. Then you find, on the lower pastures, the small flowers that are there and you know the richness of small busy tasks of ordinary living.”

Kim, from the Funny Farm (Georgia, 2020): I’m looking forward to Friday, when I will help lead a group of sixth graders to write letters to nursing home residents in Warm Springs, Georgia who can’t have visitors during this pandemic – young, wild ponies bringing forgotten and unexpected surprises of handwritten letters to the mailboxes of much older horses – flowers in the lower pasture.

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