Sometimes I read a passage in a book and the writing takes my breath away. When that happens, I want to read it out loud to as many people as will listen. Here’s a slice of beautiful writing from Helen Macdonald’s book, H is for Hawk – a terrific book (with lots of incredible passages) about grief, training a goshawk, T.H. White, and the beauty of history and time and nature:
Old England is an imaginary place, a landscape built from words, woodcuts, films, paintings, picturesque engravings. It is a place imagined by people, and people do not live very long or look very hard. We are very bad at scale. The things that live in the soil are too small to car about; climate change too large to imagine. We are bad at time, too. We cannot remember what lived here before we did; we cannot love what is not. Nor can we imagine what will be different when we are dead. We live out our three score and ten, and tie our knots and lines only to ourselves. We take solace in pictures, and we wipe the hills of history.