Moving up the sweet short turf, at every step my heart seemed to obtain a wider horizon of feeling; with every inhalation of rich pure air, a deeper desire. The very light of the sun was whiter and more brilliant here. By the time I had reached the summit I had entirely forgotten the petty circumstances and the annoyances of existence. I felt myself, myself.
I seem as if I could feel all the glowing life the sunshine gives and the south wind calls to being. The endless grass, the endless leaves, the immense strength of the oak expanding, the unalloyed joy of finch and blackbird; from all of them I receive a little. Each gives me something of the pure joy they gather for themselves.
Grass is a reminder that we have a history older than our lives. We come from some faraway place, and that soft, green vegetation beneath our bodies has made the journey with us. When we touch it, when we walk on it and play on it, lie on it and make love on it, that is when we feel intensely alive.
As the spring deepens into summer the sounds of this ancient landscape grow louder – grasshoppers, crickets, bees buzzing between the bright chalkland flowers. Butterflies like the skipper and the common blue, drift over the short-cropped grasses as sklylarks climb on the summer thermals. Chaffinches and willow warblers haunt the gorses and brambles, stone curlews call shrilly in the evening air. And badgers, foxes and hares play out their flawless roles in a drama as old as the earth.
Let us get out of these indoor narrow modern days, whose twelve hours have somehow become shortened, into the sunlight and the pure wind. A something that the ancients called divine can be found and felt there still.