“How Light Was My Valley”

Thursday, November 19th, 2020. 7:21 AM.

How Light Was My Valley

The Valley of May

Eileen May

Red River Valley – Eddy Arnold

The name Eileen means light

Dear Eileen

May I?

As I wrote those two words: “May I?” I thought of the month of May

Then I thought of a game played by children called “May I?”

I can hardly remember how it went.

Someone, like a teacher at the head of the class, began by saying “May I?”

No, that’s not how it went.

It was like this:

The one at the head, like a teacher, at the front of her class, said something.

And then, someone in the class would answer “May I?”

And she would reply:

 “Yes, You May!”

That’s all I can remember now about that children’s game: May I?

We played it a few times outside — in the yard where we lived on our grandmother’s property – in the 1950s when we were young children.

Eileen, May was also the month we met in 1974 near the border of Connecticut and Rhode Island – with The RI Hikers Club that Sunday early in the afternoon. The hike that day was cancelled because it was raining. Do you remember that Eileen? Maybe it wasn’t that memorable to you; but it was memorable to me because of you. I walked over to you sitting in your yellow VW and said Hi; and let you know the hike was cancelled; and to ask if you would be coming back the next Sunday. It was the first time I had seen you since 8th-grade at St. Charles School in June of 1966 when we graduated – except for your mysterious appearance in my homeroom in September of 1968 in high school in 11th-grade – for only a few weeks. Your desk was at the opposite corner of the room from my desk. We did not meet and talk during your too-brief time in high school.  I had no idea you would only be there for a few weeks. Maybe I wouldn’t have said anything to you anyway; I was not socially outgoing in high school. High School wasn’t anything like St. Charles School. And there were family problems, too. My mother wasn’t feeling well – and maybe that led me into not feeling well. And I had to work then – besides going to school. I didn’t have much free time anymore. Life was becoming difficult. The days had become crowded with too many things to do: school, a job; and homework. Life was no longer enjoyable.

Changing the subject now; or rather, getting back to May – if I may – if you will allow me to do so, Eileen May. May is a lovely month when the Spring days are becoming so pleasant – warmer than April — when Spring is so young and still has some coolness from Winter in Her heart and mind and soul that hasn’t mellowed yet. Perhaps she only needs some time to awaken . . . like Sleeping Beauty — and become all that Her Maker has planted in Her incipient heart — like the Good Earth with Her stores of many hidden treasures yet to be realized and seen . . . and so beautiful and so giving and nurturing and nourishing as the Mother that She is — Mother Earth.

May is also a girl’s name . . . a very mild-sounding girl’s name —

And only one syllable – like Mark

Mary is like May – except for that “R”

Mary is spelled much-like Mark but has two syllables instead of one –

Perhaps there is more to her than there is to Mark

Mary has a vowel while Mark has a consonant.

They are different – like pink is different than blue

Pink rhymes with link

While blue rhymes with you

And you rhyme with Marylou

Ricky Nelson – Hello Mary-Lou


•Jun 29, 2007

Eileen, as I was walking today, I was thinking of you [and feeling maybe just a little blue], my classmate at St. Charles School, who became my friend from May to August that Spring/Summer of ‘74.

And when I got home from my walk today, I made a cup of tea and sat down and was thinking of you still; imagining a conversation with you by phone – like this:

Mark: “Hi Eileen, May I enjoy a conversation with you?”

Eileen: “What would you enjoy talking about with me, Mark?”

Mark: “I imagine it would be enjoyable talking with you about whatever you bring up from your heart for us to talk about, Eileen [with one request]. I want the conversation to come from you – rather than from me; and for me to just go along with you as if it were a dance and you were the leading lady with godly love and grace that just drew me deeply into your Love and Grace; and following you like Mary’s little lamb following her to school one day – hoping that one day I might walk by your side – no longer only your little lamb but also your Living Friend.

Eileen: “And what is that additional request that you mentioned?”

Mark: “The request is that what you say is not a conversation-killer.”

Eileen: “What do you mean by that?”

Mark: “I mean, Eileen, that we can’t enjoy a conversation if it is unfriendly.”

Eileen: “What do you mean by “unfriendly”?

Mark: “Words like “Forget about me” and “Push me out of your mind.”

Eileen: “OK, Mark. Let’s try to have a friendly conversation; but I can’t start the conversation. I just can’t.”

Mark: “OK, Eileen. May I help you start a friendly conversation?”

Eileen: “Yes, Mark. Go ahead.”

Mark: “I hesitate to try.”

Eileen: “Why do you hesitate to try, Mark?”

Mark: “Because I think that whatever I say you’re going to be against it.”

Eileen: “Well, try saying something that is very easy to talk about.”

Mark: “Like what?”

Eileen: “Something you love to talk about.”

Mark: “I love writing and listening to music.”

Eileen: “What do you like to write about?”

Mark: “Conversation.”

Eileen: “You mean dialogue?”

Mark: “Yes.”

Eileen: “Well, discussing writing and dialogue might become very technical. I don’t think I’d enjoy having a conversation about that. That might immediately become didactic – like teaching an English writing class.”

Mark: “I see what you mean, Eileen.”

Eileen: “May I suggest something else, Mark?”

Mark: “Yes, Eileen.”

Eileen: “What if I did say something negative; but you found a way to be positive about it – instead of debating me because of my negativity?”

Mark: “OK, let’s give that a try.”

Eileen: “Push me out of your mind, Mark!”

Mark: “That is an interesting command, Eileen; however, I cannot imagine how to do it.”

Eileen: “Just close your eyes, Mark; and image me standing before you; and then place your hands on my shoulders gently; and then very easily and kindly push me away.”

Mark: “OK, Eileen.” So, Mark closes his eyes and imagines Eileen standing in front of him; and he very gently places his hands on Eileen’s shoulders; and then kindly pushes her away. Then he opens his eyes and says to Eileen: “I did it.”

Eileen: “Thank you, Mark, for obeying my command.  Did you know, Mark, that obedience is a form of love?”

Mark: “I did not know that. I did notice, Eileen, a sweet feeling coming into my heart as I cooperated with you – by doing exactly what you said.”

Eileen: “Would you like to enjoy more sweet feelings like that one, Mark?”

Mark: “Yes, Eileen.”

Eileen: “Mark, did you notice anything else while touching my shoulders with your hands, gently and  kindly?”

Mark: “Yes, Eileen.”

Eileen: “What was it that you noticed?”

Mark: “Feelings.”

Eileen: “What feelings?”

Mark: “Feelings of love.”

Feelings – Morris Albert

Eileen: “OK, Mark. This time, I want you to close your eyes again and try to forget about me.” So, Mark closed his eyes and tried to forget Eileen.”

Mark: “Eileen, when I closed my eyes and did not think of you, feelings came into my heart in place of thoughts in my mind.”

Eileen: “What feelings?”

Mark: “Feelings like when listening to a love song.”

Eileen: “What love song?”

Mark: “My love song for you, Eileen.”

Eileen: “You have a love song for me, Mark?”

Mark: “Yes, Eileen.”

Eileen: “What is this love song for me that you have, Mark?”

Mark: “You are my love song, Eileen.”

Eileen: “Sing your love song to me, Mark.”

Mark: “I can only sing my love song to you, if you love me, Eileen; otherwise it just remains as still as a seed that is not yet planted and not yet watered; and not yet in your loving and warm light that will feed it and nurture it and strengthen it and make it become something that can break out of its grave in the ground and begins to see the Loving Light of Day in your eyes, Eileen.”

Eileen: “How can you write these words to me, Mark, and imagine all these things unless you are already in love with me?”

Mark: “Maybe I am already in love with you, Eileen.”

Eileen: “Maybe you are already in my light, Mark. Maybe you have been in my light since you began noticing me in 7th grade. Maybe I have been in your heart since I breathed into you on George’s Beach in Galilee, RI in 1974.”

Mark: “Maybe Eileen. And maybe I need more of your breath breathing into me again and again and again forever and ever — every day of my life. Maybe that first time you breathed into me as we stood  on the beach was only the great-yet-incipient beginning of something that must go on for Eternity, Eileen, my lady life guard resuscitating me – breathing her breath of life into me; filling me with the Wind of Her Spirit and the Love of Her Life and the Power of Her . . . I don’t what else to write about it. Your breathing into me, Eileen, makes me speechless – and blows my mind away.

ANNE MURRAY – Could I Have This Dance 1980

Nat King Cole – When I Fall In Love (with lyrics)


May I?

May you what, Mark?

May I hear from you again?

Is that all you want, Mark – just to hear from me, again?

Well, it would really be something special to me . . . to hear from you again.

Why, Mark?

Well, you really have an affect on me, Eileen; like hearing “The Breath of Love” speaking to me and entering me through hearing your voice speaking to me; and seeing before me what is invisible within me.

What is invisible within you, Mark?

You are invisible within me, Eileen.

How did I get invisibly within you, Mark?

In many ways, Eileen, you got invisibly within me.

Tell me one way, Mark

By the beauty of your appearance in my sight as a boy in 7th grade; the light reflecting from you came into me so beautifully that it went straight to my heart – like an arrow; and the gates of my heart just naturally began to open for you to come in. I began to want you in me; like a seed that needs the light of the sun to shine on it and into it [intuit/intuition] to draw its little sprout to come out of its shell; and to struggle with all of its might to do that which is impossible for a man to do alone; to reach an unreachable star. I wouldn’t be alone anymore, Eileen, if you were with me.

The Impossible Dream-Man of La Mancha

Sounds like you are on a quest, Mark.

Eileen, you are that star.

You are that quest.

Frank Sinatra – The Impossible dream (with lyrics)

 May B, Mark, you are a dreamer.

Eileen, I remember you sharing an observation with me after we got into the car in Wakefield the morning after June 19th-20th  — that summer of ’74. You said to me that I’m a romantic. Eileen, is a romantic a dreamer? Another time that summer you said to me: “You are so lucky.”

I could only silently reflect upon your words and wonder if you meant that I was so lucky to have you for my friend, to have your friendship, to have your companionship, to be in an incipient relationship with you that would become a merging of two into One, into something New, the regeneration of Creation into A Glorious New Creation: Newness of Life.

“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” -Romans 6:4. ESV Study Bible.

The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond – Ella Roberts

Danny Boy – Ella Roberts

Mark, did you really imagine all that immediately upon hearing my spoken words to you at that time?

No, Eileen. I didn’t. It takes time for somethings to grow and develop and become something new. 

It takes faith, too.

It takes God working in us.

We can’t accomplish anything without Him.

We can only follow His leadership and let Him be our guiding Light and our Good Shepherd.

“There is a Star” By Listener Kids featuring Sarah Macintosh

A Savior, Christ the Lord

Revelation 21

Revelation 22

Hebrews 11

God’s Way of Salvation (John 3:16)

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” -Matthew 7:13, 14. ESV Study Bible.

Jesus at the Center by DARLENE ZSCHECH

Romans 1-8

The Skye Boat Song – Ella Roberts

1 Peter 1:1-25 NIV

Eileen: “Mark?”

Mark: “Yes, Eileen?”

Eileen: “I have “one last request before we dress for Spring.”

Mark: “What is your last request, Eileen? Perhaps it May become a New Quest — to fulfill your last request.”

Eileen: “Don’t preach to me, Mark. OK?”

Mark: “OK, Eileen.”

Mark: “Eileen?”

Eileen: “Yes, Mark?”

Mark: “I’m having more feelings for you.”

Eileen: “What feelings?”

Mark: “Longing feelings like in a lonely love song where a man misses his lady love whom he hasn’t seen in ages and he’s feeling like he’s dying.”

Harve Presnell They call the Wind Maria remastered

Red River Valley – Eddy Arnold

Mark: “What can he do, Eileen?”

Eileen: “Perhaps it is God’s Will for him to long for her . . . and to pray to God in his loneliness – as Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.”

Mark 14:32-16:20. NIV Study Bible.

In Christ Alone (Official Lyric Video) – Keith & Kristyn Getty, Alison Krauss

In Christ Alone | Celtic Worship

Blessed Assurance – Jeremy Riddle | Worship Circle Hymns

You’re Beautiful – Jeremy Riddle | Bethel Church

Summer of 42 – Jennifer O’Neill / Music by Michel Legrand

Eileen, “Love Calls You by your name” -Leonard Cohen

Eileen . . .

Eileen . . .

Eileen . . .

If “The Summer Knows”

Maybe the Winter Wonders

The Winter Waits

The Winter Wakes

The Winter Walks

The Winter Simplifies

The Winter Weds

“And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” -Revelation 19:9, 10. ESV Study Bible.

The Winter brings us inside to the warmth and the closeness and the caress that is blest

By the Marriage Supper of the Lamb

Eileen Ann

 May The Caress That Is Blest be Yours in Abundance

By the grace of God through faith in Jesus

“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” -Mark 1:14, 15. ESV Study Bible.

A comment now about unbelief. The unbeliever might say about those just-quoted words: O geez. Those words were spoken about 2000 years ago. We are living today; if He was going to Return He would have done it by now. Let’s just move on and use our own heads to live our lives the best we can. Let’s learn humanism; let’s believe in evolution; let’s go to college and learn political science and sociology and psychology and economics. Let’s create wealth so we can help the poor and make the world a better place for all!

Well, how is the world doing now – with that kind of human thinking? Is the world becoming a better place? Is humanistic thinking bringing peace and wealth and joy and happiness to the poor? Or is globalism going ballistic? Is globalism delusional? Is humanism godless self-centeredness?

Helen Reddy – Angie Baby (1974)

Jesus at the Center by DARLENE ZSCHECH

Eileen: “Mark, what is this “caress that is blest?” Who does that come from? And where is it?”

Mark: “Eileen, it comes from the Lord Jesus, the Savior of all men, especially believers.”

“Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” -Matthew 25:34-36. ESV Study Bible.

Eileen, Will you listen to Jesus? Will you believe the gospel of Christ? Will you obey His Word? And be blest by His Caress of you.

El Shaddai — Amy Grant

Still – Hillsong United with Lyrics

Thursday, November 19, 2020. 4:50 AM. Just got up thinking of you Eileen May . . . and of Him. And was wondering about how to write about what you said about “Don’t preach to me, Mark.” Was thinking: Maybe that’s not me preaching, Eileen. Maybe its Him. His Spirit . . . coming forth . . . like when He resurrected and then a hymn came into consciousness. Can’t recall the title, yet; something about “bursting forth and light of day and Jesus commands my destiny.” And some Scriptures about “the power of an indestructible life.” And had some thoughts of explanation about God’s love never ends and His Life never dies. It isn’t in His Nature to end nor to die. Eternal Love and Eternal Life are unable to stop being.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull – Be

Hebrews 7-8


In Christ Alone

10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) – Matt Redman (Best Worship Song Ever) (with Lyrics)

I Surrender – Hillsong Worship

Open the Eyes of My Heart

I give myself away/ Here I am to worship

Way Maker – Paul McClure | Moment

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