I wrote in January that I wanted to read Jane Eyre at some point this year. It’s October, and I’m finally getting around to it. For years I’ve said that it’s my favorite book, but I had lately started to worry that if I reread it now I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I did when I was younger. Look for a post in the next couple of weeks about whether or not I’m finding that the book lives up to my memories.
Today’s “Other People’s Thoughts” is taken from a scene early in the novel, in the lead-up to Jane meeting Mr. Rochester for the first time — such lovely, picturesque description of the countryside:
“I was a mile from Thornfield, in a lane noted for wild roses in summer, for nuts and blackberries in autumn, and even now possessing a few coral treasures in hips and haws, but whose best winter delight lay in its utter solitude and leafless repose. If a breath of air stirred, it made no sound here; for there was not a holly, not an evergreen to rustle, and the stripped hawthorn and hazel bushes were as still as the white, worn stones which causewayed the middle of the path. Far and wide, on each side, there were only fields, where no cattle now browsed; and the little brown birds, which stirred occasionally in the hedge, looked like single russet leaves that had forgotten to drop.”
I remember now why I loved and identified so much with Jane all those years ago — she can sit on the roadside and ponder a field and linger from 3:00 “till the sun went down amongst the trees, and sank crimson and clear behind them.” My favorite time of day, my favorite way to while away a few hours.