Friday, July 22, 2011

“ ‘Townsfolk,’ she said, 'have no conception of the peace that Mother Nature bestows, and as long as that peace is unfound the spirit must seek to quench its thirst with ephemeral novelties. And what is more natural than that the townsman’s feverish search for pleasure should mold people of an unstable, harebrained character, who think only of their personal appearance and their clothes and find momentary comfort in foolish fashions and other such worthless innovations? The countryman, on the other hand, walks out to the verdant meadows, into an atmosphere clear and pure, and as he breathes it into his lungs some unknown power streams through his limbs, invigorating body and soul. The peace that reigns in nature fills his mind with calm and cheer, the bright green grass under his feet awakens a sense of beauty, almost of reverence. In the fragrance that is borne so sweetly to his nostrils, in the quietude that broods so blissfully round him, there is comfort and rest. The hill-sides, the dingles, the waterfalls and the mountains are all friends of his childhood, and never to be forgotten. They are a grand and inspiring sight, some of our mountains. Few things can have had such a deep and lasting influence on your hearts as their pure, dignified contours. They give us shelter in their valleys and bid us give shelter, too, to those who have neither our size nor our strength. Where,' asked the poetess, 'is there bliss so bountiful as in these tranquil, flowery mountain glades, where the flowers, those angels’ eyes, if I may so express myself, point to heaven and bid us kneel in reverence to the Almighty, to beauty, wisdom and love?'”

Halldór Laxness, Independent People, pgs. 32-3

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