Commonplace Book #16

I lay awake for a long while, until the slow-moving moon passed my window on its way up the heavens.  I was thinking about Antonio and her children; about Anna’s solicitude for her, Ambrosch’s grave affection, Leo’s jealous, animal little love.  That moment, when they all came tumbling out of the cave into the light, was a sight any man might have come far to see.  Antonia had always been one to leave images in the mind that did not fade–that grew stronger with time.  In my memory there was a succession of such pictures, fixed there like the old woodcuts of one’s first primer.  Antonia kicking her bare legs against sides of my pony when we came home in triumph with our snake; Antonia in her black shawl and fur cap, as she stood by her father’s gave in the snowstorm; Antonia coming in with her work-team along the evening sky-line .  She lent herself to immemorial human attitudes which we recognize by instinct as universal and true. 

Willa Cather, My Antonia.

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