Guests in Eden


My friendship with Martha Dickinson Bianchi was one of the privileges gained when some twenty-odd years ago I came to Amherst to live. Casually introduced by a mutual friend, as the years went on we gradually came to know each other and the acquaintanceship ripened into a warm friendship.

My memory holds many vivid pictures of the hours shared with her at THE EVERGREENS, but perhaps among those espe­cially treasured are certain Sunday mornings when Martha might be waiting for me on the Church steps after the service and suggest walking across to THE EVERGREENS to sit in the sun on her porch for a little chat, or cozily beside the open fire in the library. Naturally, the talk might begin with some com­ment from the sermon and as ideas and thoughts were shared, perhaps it would go on to something even more deep and per­sonal, she taking the lead with her brilliant way of expressing herself that gave added inspiration. Or, we might stroll into the garden, especially when the hollyhocks were in bloom­ how tall and straight they stood in their beauty before a dark background of hemlocks. How like her, I thought, unbowed by life's tragedies and lifting her face to the sun.

Such a brief Sunday fellowship made real George' Herbert's lines:

"Sweet Day, so calm, so fair, so bright."

Always from such intercourse, I went home with an uplift in my soul. The warmth and iridescence of such a rare friend­ ship will never fade from my memory.


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Transcription and commentary copyright 2000 by
Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved.
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Last updated on March 10, 2008

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