“They were on a great flat plain which was cut into countless little islands by countless channels of water. the islands were covered with coarse grass and bordered with reeds and rushes. Clouds of birds were constantly alighting in them and rising from them again. Many wigwams could be seen dotted about …
Eastward … you could tell by the salt tang in the wind which blew from that direction that the sea lay over there. To the North there were low pale-coloured hills, in places bastioned with rock. The rest was all flat marsh. Seen under a morning sun, with a fresh wind blowing, and the air filled with the crying of birds, there was something fine and fresh and clean about its loneliness.”
Reading this to my children, I was struck how evocative is this passage. I remembered reading it myself for the first time when i was about eight.
How influential are are ones childhood books? Today, I am thrilled by the loneliness of marshland and the wheeling and crying of massed waterfowl.
If you have not guessed this passage comes from C.S Lewis’ “The Silver Chair”.