Marginalia, no.94

The Mole saw clearly that he was an animal of tilled field and hedgerow, linked to the plowed furrow, the frequented pasture, the lane of evening lingerings, the cultivated garden-plot.  For others the asperities, the stubborn endurance, or the clash of actual conflict that went with Nature in the rough.  He must be wise, must keep to the pleasant places in which his lines were laid and which held adventure enough, in their way, to last for a lifetime.

~ Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

Mole had to leave home before he could see that it really was home after all.  Maturity presents itself as the acceptance of finitude, a shutting of the eyes against (in Updike’s words) “the immense tinted pity, the waste, of being at one little place instead of everywhere.”  And yet it’s distance, of the mind or the body, that fosters delight.  The art and scope of others are always foreign countries, but while travels abroad may be enriching, the richest moment in any journey is to first turn your eyes toward home again.

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