Another breathing-space in which, almost at my last gasp, I get a brief peace. The little reviving breath comes again. I have had the good luck to be appointed corporal on guard in delightful quarters, where I am in command. Perfect spring weather. And what can I say of this Nature? Never before have I so fully felt her amplitude of life. Hours and seasons following one another surely, infallibly, unalterably, in unchanging unity; the looker-on has a glimpse of the immensity of the force that first set them afoot.
I had often known the delight of watching the nearer coming of a season, but it had not before been given to me to live in that delight moment by moment. It is so that one learns, without the help of any kind of science, a certain intuition, vague perhaps, but altogether indisputable, of the Absolute. There was a man of science, possibly a great one, who declared that he had not discovered God under his scalpel. What a shocking mistake for an able mind to make! Where was the need of a scalpel, when the joy and the thrill of our senses are all-sufficient to convince us of the purpose commanding our whole evolution? The poet watches the coming of the seasons as it were great ships that will, he knows, set sail again. At times the storm may delay them, but at their next coming they will bring with them the rich fragrance of the unknown coasts. A season coming again to our own shores seems to bring us delights which it has learnt by long travel.
Ah, dearest mother, if one could have again a retreat for the soul! O solitude, for those worthy to possess it! How seldom is it inviolate!