W7882 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from Muriel [surname unknown]
Apr 30 1931
To: Rev. Calvin McQuesten 'Whitehern,' Hamilton, Ontario
From: St. George, Ontario
What a fortunate person you are to have a birthday in the spring! In the dark melancholy days of November you would be surely tempted to mourn the "burden of the years" but on May Day one can't escape the truth that-"Every day is a fresh beginning, every morn is a world made new." And one is bound to look forward to the lovely things which lie just round the corner.
I was heartily oppressed by a sense of age and futility this winter, but after weeks of rest I began to realize that life held a future as well as a past, and after all it is rank unfaith to doubt that our lives are not fulfilling some purpose even when they are not as spectacular as those of some of our fellows.
But what got me started on that strain!--Speaking of our past, Auntie and I were discussing the ideal situation of the Beddoe Cottage yesterday, and wondering about the Scotts. To-day I noticed that Mr. S. was appointed Atlantic Coast Manager of the Canadian National Steamships with headquarters at Halifax. Wonder what young Billie is doing? The last I heard he was going to Belgium on one of the ships during his summer holidays.
Probably I told you that at Christmas I had a delightful letter from Miss Mabel. They miss Mrs. Beddoe so.
We have been enjoying the Halliday Radio Programs. Did you have a finger in that pie? You have probably been seeing lots of birds. I have not been out but hope to be sometime soon. The San friends are as keen as ever I suppose.1 I am longing to see Stevie and everybody else, and am hoping I may be able to do so before many weeks have passed.
The radio is bringing My Wild Irish Rose, in honor of your birthday, I presume. The other evening I heard Richard Hamson of Green Pastures fame give several dramatic readings very well, but alas, he attempted The Wreck of the Julie Plante and I could only wish he knew his Drummond as you do.2
Have you begun to make summer plans? Last summer our people went up by motor, to spend a few days with Hal. We have just had a glimpse of him as he came down to rid himself of troublesome tonsils. He seemed to get along splendidly and did not appear mush the worse for the experience. You know what comrades we have been, and can realize how I loathe I am to see him go so far again, but he loves the north and is happier when he is working. He had his operation at Kingston where he knew a number of the nurses. One of the supervisors said, "Don't let those girls talk you tired." His retort "Humph! I have a sister who beats the two of them" will suggest that he has changed very little. A letter of mine on his table was one of the first things he recognized with returning consciousness. He asked the nurse to read it but it proved beyond her powers to decipher, so "You're no good to me. Get out of here, I'm going to sleep," and I can imagine him saying it with a grin which would rob its abruptness of offence.
Mr. Small was in this afternoon, paint brush and can in hand. Poor man, he abhors confusion and almost half of the manse is in the hands of the decorators. I gave him J.J. Bell's Joseph Redhorn on the hope that it might reconcile him to their presence. I have been lost in Dorothy Wordsworth's Tour of Scotland, especially that part of her Journal describing their visit to Loch Lomond and the Trossacks.
This letter is full of nothingness but will assure you an old friend is sending very sincere wishes for your birthday and many other happy days.
Muriel [surname unknown]
1 "Muriel" may have been a tuberculosis patient at the Hamilton Mountain Sanatorium where Calvin was chaplain. See W7876.
2 Calvin gave many reading of Drummond's "Habitant" poems.