Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wednesdays with Words (A Lantern in Her Hand)

I have just finished reading A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich and I found this portion so very beautifully said. In this portion Abbie Deal, the main character, is refusing her daughter's invitation to travel abroad
Grace was loath to accept the decision. As I said, I'm sorry, You owe it to yourself, if you possible can go. Your life has been so narrow, Mother...just here, all the time. You ought to get out now and see things. 
Unwittingly, as so often she did, Grace had hurt her Mother's feeling. For a moment Abbie nursed her little hurt, and then she said quietly, "You know, Grace, it's queer, but I don't feel narrow. I feel broad. How can I explain it to you, so you would understand? I've seen everything...and I've hardly been away from this yard. I've seen cathedrals in the snow on the Lombardy poplars. I've seen the sun set behind the Alps over there when the clouds have been piled upon the edge of the prairie. I've seen the ocean billows in the rise and the fall of the prairie grass. I've seen history in the making...three ugly wars flare up and die down. I've sent a lover and two brothers to one, a son and son-in-law to another, and two grandsons to the other. I've seen the feeble beginnings of a raw state and the civilization that developed there, and I've been part of the beginning and part of the growth. I've married...and borne children and looked into the face of death. Is childbirth narrow, Grace? Or marriage? Or death? When you've experienced all those things, Grace, the spirit has traveled although the body has been confined. I think travel is a rare privilege and I'm glad you can have it. But not every one who stay at home is narrow and not everyone who travels is broad. I think if you can understand humanity...can put yourself into the personality of every're not're broad." p. 241-242

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