Saturday, July 9, 2011
Every Quaker Meeting I’ve ever attended has at least one elderly member(sometimes several) who seemed to embody Quakerism. They had lived long enough to develop a generous degree of patience and respond gently to the impetuosity of youth. For them, anyone less than 75 is considered youth. Euphrasia would evolve into this type of woman over time and in many ways was already there.
Euphrasia (pronounced: you-phrā-shă) is the name of a flowering plant found in the Alpine meadows and often used for herbal medicines. Euphrasia Hoole, for me, was my great-great grandmother, a wiry little thing from the one picture I have of her and a devote Presbyterian. She probably knew little if anything of Quakers. I am fortunate to have a couple of letters that she wrote in the late 1800’s. To my knowledge, no one in the family has ever chosen to remember her by passing her name along to any offspring. That may be a blessing, who’s to say? I chose to remember her by making her a character in my novel.