From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
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The Daily Work at Pleasant View
A description of a representative day at Pleasant View might interest future generations, as exemplifying the guidance of divine Love over Mrs. Eddy and her home. Breakfast was at 7:30 a.m. The assistant secretary sorted the mail, with the specific instructions from our Leader to withhold all letters which would be possible for her secretaries to answer, giving her only that which was imperative. There could be no mistake in keeping mail from her, but there could be in giving it to her. The morning Watch Hour was from nine to ten, when each student returned to his or her room to do the mental work to destroy fear, and to recognize the presence and power of God as supreme in the home, as well as in the whole universe. This work did not vary from day to day, except where special instruction was needed and given to us. These watching instructions were written out either by Mrs. Eddy, or by Mr. Frye under her supervision, and were passed around to us. One of these papers that is representative of her specific instruction, as to what line of thought to take up, reads as follows: “No fear; no poison, arsenic, etc.; no suffering caused here by the readers of S. & H.; no evil minds; no feeling the beliefs of patients; no relapse, no reversal of truth. There is but one Mind, God, good. Evil is not mind, it has no power. We can help ourselves and help others, we do. We are not self-mesmerized. God, good, alone controls us. We feel no mind but His. There is no other mind to feel. God gives all the thoughts we have, governs all we do and say and think.”
At ten a.m. work on the mail was resumed. At 10:45, the mail that had been selected was carried to Mrs. Eddy. Her dinner was served in her study at 12 noon. After the noon meal, she took a drive that lasted about an hour. During that time all duties were done, including the physical work around the rooms in the home. Each one endeavored to be in his or her place, when she returned between 2:00 and 2:30. After her return, she rested for about one-half hour.
There was another general Watch Hour from three to four, and the last was from eight to nine. Everyone, including our Leader, joined in these periods of watching. In addition to these, each student had an individual Watch Hour. For instance, every night I worked mentally from eleven to midnight.
After the afternoon Watch Hour, Mrs. Eddy read and answered letters, or gave them to her secretaries to answer. Sometimes, she would dictate the answers to us. Supper was at six. Occasionally, after supper she would call the students to her for a period of quiet and peaceful conversation. At times, I went in and talked to her. It was during such a period that she dictated to me some of her own early history, and that of the church. She also dictated articles to me, as, for instance, the one on Christmas on page 259 of Miscellany. At eight, she always went out on the porch and sat in the swing until nine, which was the last general Watch Hour for the day. I always felt that it was during this hour that she worked for the world, and encompassed all humanity with her love, for when she came in to retire, she often called me to her side to say good-night, and the love that she radiated was almost more than I could stand, it affected me to such a degree.
This general program for each day never varied, and there was nothing to indicate that a day was Sunday or week day. This does not mean that when there was a special need, the whole machinery of the home was not interrupted. There were times, when the whole household worked mentally for hours at a time. Sometimes it would be all night long. I can recall a time, when I did not remove my clothes for seventy-two hours.