From the Wind in the Willows ~ by Kenneth Grahame
“The weary Mole also was glad to turn in without delay, and soon had his head on his pillow, in great joy and contentment. But ere he closed his eyes he let them wander round his old room, mellow in the glow of the firelight that played or rested on familiar and friendly things which had long been unconsciously a part of him, and now smilingly received him back, without rancour. He was now in just the frame of mind that the tactful Rat had quietly worked to bring about in him. He saw clearly how plain and simple – how narrow, even – it all was; but clearly, too, how much it all meant to him, and the special value of some such anchorage in one’s existence. He did not at all want to abandon the new life and its splendid spaces, to turn back on sun and air and all they offered him and creep home and stay there; the upper world was all too strong, it called to him still, even down there, and he knew he must return to the larger stage. But it was good to think he had this to come back to, this place which was all his own, these things which were so glad to see him again and could always be counted upon for the same simple welcome.”
“This has been a wonderful day!” said he, as the rat shoved off and took to the sculls again. “Do you know, I’ve never been in a boat in all my life.”
“What?” cried the Rat, open mouthed: “Never been in a – you never-well, I-what have you been doing, then?”
“Is it so nice as all that?” asked the Mole shyly, though he was quite prepared to believe it as he leaned back in his seat and surveyed the cushions, the oars, the rowlocks, and all the fascinating fittings, and felt the boat sway lightly under him.
“Nice? It’s the only thing.” said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leaned forward for his stroke. “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing.”
I read The Wind in the Willows for the first time in 2008 and that same year Dear and I went to the Rose Bowl Flea Market where I saw and purchased this teapot by Sadler from their Classic Stories series.
While we were in Oxford in September of 2022 we took a stroll through Holywell Cemetery.
The friends of Holywell Cemetery need some more friends to help keep up this cemetery.
The reason I’m adding photos from this cemetery in this post about Kenneth Grahame is that we stumbled upon his gravestone in this cemetery. We saw a few gravestones of note. This one is Kenneth Grahame’s. His son is buried here, also. He died tragically when he was just 20.
The Beautiful Memory
Husband of Elspeth
Father of Alastair
Who Passed the River
On the 6th of July 1932
Childhood & Literature
The More Blest
For All Time
And of His Son Alastair Grahame
Commoner of Christ Church
Another headstone we took note of was this one for Charles Walter Stansby Williams.
Charles Walter Stansby Williams was a British poet, novelist, playwright, theologian, literary critic, and member of the Inklings, an informal literary discussion group associated with C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien at the University of Oxford.
Have you ever read The Wind in the Willows? I found it to be very entertaining and heart warming. I’ll leave you with one more quote from this children’s classic.
“Here today, up and off to somewhere else tomorrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that’s always changing!”
Enjoy your horizons!