Sunday, September 17, 2006

Heidiness 2

Heidi [...] continued her way up the mountain, her basket on her arm. All around her the steep green slopes shone bright in the evening sun, and soon the great gleaming snow-field up above came in sight. Heidi was obliged to keep on pausing to look behind her, for the higher peaks were behind her as she climbed. Suddenly a warm red glow fell on the grass at her feet; she looked back again - she had not remembered how splendid it was, nor seen anything to compare to it in her dreams - for there the two high mountain peaks rose into the air like two great flames, the whole snow-field had turned crimson, and rosy-coloured clouds floated in the sky above. The grass upon the mountain sides had turned to gold, the rocks were all aglow, and the whole valley was bathed in golden mist. And as Heidi stood gazing around her at all this splendour the tears ran down her cheeks for very delight and happiness, and impulsively she put her hands together, and lifting her eyes to heaven, thanked God aloud for having brought her home, thanked Him that everything was as beautiful as ever, more beautiful even than she had thought, and that it was all hers again once more. And she was so overflowing with joy and thankfulness that she could not find words to thank Him enough. Not until the glory** began to fade could she tear herself away. [...]

It was with a happy heart that Heidi lay down [...] that night, and her sleep was sounder than it had been for a whole year past. [...She] did not stir; she had no need now to wander about, for the great burning longing of her heart was satisfied; she had seen the high mountains and rocks alight in the evening glow, she had heard the wind in the fir trees, she was at home again on the mountain.

Johanna Spyri. Heidi. London UK: Cathay Books, 1986, copyright 1881, ISBN: 0861784081, pp.164-5, 168.

Project Gutenberg etext #1448

**I wish this scenic glory had prompted the name of this blog, Plodding along to glory, but alas, no, the actual prompt was less beautiful. The way I remember it, I was listening to a sporting show on the radio (weirdly, because I'm not interested in sport) and someone said of a footballer who was making a speedy advance down the field: "He's racing away to glory!" I was a bit down on myself at the time and thought, "If that was me, I wouldn't be racing away, I'd be plodding along."

Hence. So. Damn. A bit regrettable, really. Maybe I'll here-and-now rewrite history and take this Heidi scene for meaning instead.