I dream so much and I live so little, that sometimes I am only three years old. But, the next day I am three hundred, if the dream has been sombre. Isn’t it the same with you? Doesn’t it seem at moments, that you are beginning life without even knowing what it is, and at other times don’t you feel over you the weight of several thousands centuries, of which you have a vague remembrance and a sorrowful impression?

— George Sand, in a letter to Gustave Flaubert, 28 September 1866

an excerpt #7

an excerpt #7

…. But it was the stillness that made her stagger inwardly. The absolute quietude of the place. She had often regarded the phrase ‘not a blade of grass was moving’ to be exaggerated in the novels when so often used to describe the stillness of a scenery, and she now wondered if the novelists had ever quite witnessed the true and rare beauty of temperamental nature, such as this, in a serene mood. Silenced.

And yet, she had to concur to the very concise description it now inflicted on what she tried to formulate in her mind while regarding her surroundings. Indeed, not a single blade of grass was moving. It was like stepping into a painting. There was no wind, no sound of the ever-constant force of nature that infused the scenery day in and day out – for as long as she could remember. Sure, there had been quiet days among them, but had it ever truly been this still? Even the whipping, splashing ocean on both sides seemed oddly hushed.

This day.

Her birth day.

She could not help but marvel at the fact and the wonder; her mind spinning into various explanations, knowing full well she might find none. What had she done to deserve this? Was it a sign? A gift? A reminder? To appreciate life and of being born into this world? Had the world chosen to stop and stand still; holding its breath in wonder this very day because something had occurred that had slipped her notice?

And then she scolded herself for making it all about her. It was a mere coincidence, that’s what it was. And yet… it was all too breathtaking to be a mere coincidence. She was enslaved to the idea, silently marking it as a day she would never forget. Of all the birthdays and blessings in her life, they in turn seemed grey and faded compared to what nature so generously installed in her memory this very instant – for her to keep and cherish for life. Gratitude seemed immeasurable, indescribable; so sentimental and small and insufficient to give back in either words or gestures; what she felt she owed for taking part in this.