Sunday, April 24, 2011

Shoulders Mantled with the Light


I was walking in a dark valley
And above me the tops of the hills
had caught the morning light.
I heard the light singing as it went out
among the grassblades and the leaves.
I waded upward through the shadow
until my head emerged,
my shoulders were mantled with the light,
and my whole body came up
out of the darkness, and stood
on the new shore of the day.
Where I had come was home,
for my own house stood white
where the dark river wore the earth.
The sheen of bounty was on the grass,
and the spring of the year had come.

~ Wendell Berry

Photo: Easter morning, the late 1950's. I'm in my Easter dress, white with yellow flowers and green leaves, and shoes. Next to me are two of my sisters, Christy and Jane.


  1. What a cute picture. We used to really get dressed up for Easter, didn't we?! You and your sisters were just too cute!!!

  2. Love the Wendell Berry poem, Teresa. It resonates both literally and metaphorically. Happy Easter!

  3. Gorgeous post for Easter morning! Thank you.

  4. A lovely choice of poem. I must look for more Wendell Berry. Happy Easter season Teresa E.

  5. Lovely! My siblings and I posed for photos like that in the 50s, too, but usually indoors because Easter was seldom warm enough for the new spring dresses.

  6. Thank you for the wonderful poem. Happy Easter and thank you for the memories your picture brought back. When I was a kid on Easter I would have on a hand me down wool suit from my older brother.

  7. Great picture--brought back lots of memories of my mom dressing us all up for Easter services. Also, a lovely poem.

  8. That was such a beautiful comment you left on my Easter post, Teresa. Thank you. And you are quite fetching, standing there with your sisters looking all fresh and sparkling. Love the poem, love the picture. You are such a find.

  9. Lynn, In a year or so, I would also have a little clear plastic purse with pink and white flowers and matching hat. Warm memories.

    George, Love of the land, rich with metaphor, is what drew me to this particular poem, too. "The new shore of the day," has such a nice sound to it and just seemed to fit the day.

    Li, Thank you, very much.

    Joan, Happy Easter season to you, as well.

    Nancy, That day must have been an unusually warm one. Today isn't too bad, actually. I hope you're having a nice day.

    Patrick, I'm certain my dress was a hand-me-down. Most of my clothes were then. Happy Easter. I hope you and your family are having a good day.

    Paul, I love the idea of resurrection and all it represents.

    BB, It's a time of fine memories. On that day, dressing up was not just tolerated, but something we looked forward to.

    DJan, Our stories dovetail in some ways. Reading yours made our connection even more meaningful. I'm very grateful for it.

  10. My mother used to make Easter dresses for my sister and me. I remember the patent leather shoes and purses as well.

  11. Adorable picture. I just love the dresses from back then. I'm inspired to pull out my old photo album from when I was a kid. Thanks Teresa. Hope you enjoyed a lovely Sunday. xo

  12. Linda, I had a few homemade dresses myself. And how I loved my purses!

    Thank you, Josh! Glad you liked it, too.

    Karen, I would love to to see your child self. I had a very nice day. Thank you so much. I hope you did, as well. xo

  13. Such a darling picture and a perfect piece of poetry to match.

  14. Thank you, Penny. I hope you have a great week!

  15. A classic picture and a nice selection of poetry.We talked yesterday about dressing up for the holiday.I remember wanting my shoes to be polished bright, a task we shared with our father.

  16. Hi Steve, I hope you had a good weekend. Memories of this holiday are some of the sweetest. I suppose I should say pun intended.

  17. So sweet. Where's your little Easter hat? I bet you all had them. Oh, the white gloves we wore back then, too. Love to you.

  18. Hi Manzi, An Easter hat came later along with my much-loved first purse. Gloves didn't. Maybe my mom knew white gloves were probably not a good idea for me. I hope your week is off to a fine start. Love, T

    Pearl, Thanks for dropping by!

  19. How meaningful that this photo was taken at Easter. The poem reminds me of a flash of sunshine warmth on Saturday amidst the rather cool and cloudy weather we have been having.

  20. Paul C, I think we were leaving comments on each others blogs at exactly the same time. :) I love your thoughts about the importance of our choice of words.

    I'm glad you could recall a moment in your own life like the one in the poem. How wonderful.

  21. I love the poem and the picture which reminds me on one I have of me with my two sisters. We were in the exact same pose. Good memories.

  22. Teresa, I'm so proud of Kentucky's great writers. From Robert Penn Warren to Wendell Berry, we have stood tall.

  23. Cheryl, Yes, good memories, indeed. Life was simple, or so it seemed, and oh so fine. Most of the time.

  24. Cletis, As well you should be. They are such fine writers, and many more to be sure. You've fared well with such great "teachers."

  25. shoulders mantled in light, love that line.

  26. I do, too, Linda. A lovely line and image.