Commonplace Book #15

I sat down in the middle of the garden, where snakes could scarcely approach unseen, and leaned my back against a warm yellow pumpkin.  There were some ground-cherry bushes growing  along the furrows, full of fruit.  I turned back the papery triangular sheaths that protected the berries and ate a few.  All about me giant grasshoppers, twice as big as any I had ever seen, were doing acrobatic feats among the dried vines.  The gophers scurried up and down the ploughed ground. There in the sheltered draw-bottom the wind did not blow very hard, but I could hear it singing its humming tune up on the level, and I could see the tall grasses wave.  The earth was warm under me, and warm as I crumbled  it through  my fingers.  Queer little red bugs came out and moved in slow squadrons around me.  Their backs were polished vermilion, with black spots.  I kept as still as I could.  Nothing happened.  I did not expect anything to happen.  I was something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more.  I was entirely happy.  Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge.  At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great.  When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.

Willa Cather, My Antonia

One thought on “Commonplace Book #15

  1. Great writing but questionable theology——-it could almost be construed as pantheistic in its import. I don’t want to prejudge Willa Cather, however. Death Comes for the Archbishop is on my “want to read” list. I realize it isn’t her most noted dork, but I want to see how she treats the subject of Christianity.


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