Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Apr 21, 2012

When we “become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge”

Filed under: Reading — admin @ 12:34 am

Not long ago, I re-read Willa Cather’s novel, My Antonie. It is one of my favorites. I cannot say exactly why. It may be because of that feeling of nostalgia for something in the distant past, intangible but very present now.

When Jim Burden, the main character of the book, first comes to Black Hawk, rural area in Nebraska, he finds complete happiness in the vast prairie and feels connected to Mother Nature.

“… 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 dissolve into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep” — My Antonie, p. 17.

I mentioned this to my daughter. I said people must feel this complete contentment when they finally find the source of their happiness. It can be anything that can give one this feeling. In this case, it is the prairie.  “Follow your path and find your source of happiness,” I told her. “And when you finally find it, you will be as happy as Jim when he is laying under the sun at that moment.”

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