John Richard Jefferies: Quotes

From space to the sky, from the sky to the hills, and the sea; to every blade of grass, to every leaf, to the smallest insect, to the million waves of ocean. Yet this earth itself appears but a mote in that sunbeam by which we are conscious of one narrow streak in the abyss. A beam crosses my silent chamber from the window, and atoms are visible in it; a beam slants between the fir-trees, and particles rise and fall within, and cross it while the air each side seems void. Through the heavens a beam slants, and we are aware of the star-stratum in which our earth moves. But what may be without that stratum? Certainly it is not a void. This light tells us much, but I think in the course of time yet more delicate and subtle mediums than light may be found, and through these we shall see into the shadows of the sky. When will it be possible to be certain that the capacity of a single atom has been exhausted. At any moment some fortunate incident may reveal a fresh power. One by one the powers of light have been unfolded.

The Story of My Heart: My Autobiography (1883) — Chapter XI

Leaving the shore I walk among the trees; a cloud passes, and the sweet short rain comes mingled with sunbeams and flower-scented air. The finches sing among the fresh green leaves of the beeches. Beautiful it is, in summer days, to see the wheat wave, and the long grass foam-flecked of flower yield and return to the wind. My soul of itself always desires; these are to it as fresh food. I have found in the hills another valley grooved in prehistoric times, where, climbing to the top of the hollow, I can see the sea. Down in the hollow I look up; the sky stretches over, the sun burns as it seems but just above the hill, and the wind sweeps onward.

The Story of My Heart: My Autobiography (1883) — Chapter XII