A sincere and often graceful collection of essays that focus on the spiritually significant moments and people in the author's childhood; by an educator and novelist (The Headmaster's Papers, 1983). Arguing that ""childhood is alive with vivid promises,"" prep-school headmaster Hawley recalls the moments of grace and saint-like, if scruffed, characters that helped shape his personal relationship with Christ. Rummaging through a grab bag of experiences, Hawley describes his friendship with Cyrus Best, a pint-size, practicing Catholic with a strong sense of good and evil, who ""had given up everything"" when he became ""saved""; his infatuation with beauteous Diana West, whose love showed him that ""beloved persons are those who by Grace have been aligned with Goodness itself""; and his memories of his sister Binky, who ""not big enough, not tough enough, not shrewd enough"" for the world, took her life, leaving an infant daughter behind. Hawley's anecdotes are sometimes luminous and often moving, but there is a tremendous amount of plodding autobiography here as well. Still, those interested in reading about others' spiritual experiences will find something genuine.