Yesterday I broke the news to Margaret that Madeleine L’Engle had died. We had read many of her novels (Margaret more than I), and we had been part of her receiving an honorary degree from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, where Margaret was working as the Dean’s secretary (back in the days that was called “secretary” and not one of the precisely descriptive titles now in use) (or perhaps, “secretary” accurately described that work once upon a time, before that title evolved to connote “stenographer” or “attractive living ornament for executive’s antechamber”).
When Ms. L’Engle came to Berkeley to receive the degree, she generously autographed Margaret’s worn copy of A Wrinkle In Time, inscribing it to Margaret and “to the one within,” indicating Nate (the unlinkable) who at that time was making his presence in utero increasingly obvious. Nate has returned the favor by reading L’Engle’s books repeatedly, most recently this past summer.
We give thanks for this extraordinarily alert and articulate story-teller, for her love and faith, for her wit and grace, and we pray for her and for her family. Ora pro nobis, Sancta Magdalena.