Read With Me: My Antonia


Every once in a while one is lucky enough to come across a book that is boundless, that seems to hover somewhere in time, frozen and perfectly distilled like an insect in amber. My Antonia by Willa Cather is such a book for me, haunting me as it has since I first read it over ten years ago. I originally read the book for school, one of my teachers had been from the Midwest and she was fond of it, and I remember that we all fell in love with it. I fell in love with the book because it felt like a breath of fresh air, like a summer breeze full of heady scents of hay and grass. I fell in love with the simple purity of it, with the sense of quiet and calm that I found in it's pages. I fell in love with the beauty of it, of the struggles and the seasons, of the food and the life, of the work and the sense of structure in it all. I feel in love with the narration, with the way that reading it slowed my mind down and made me long to be out in a field, under the sun, eating fruit and melons like Tony and Jim. This book always makes me feel like I am home, somehow; that home is some strange place inside of each of us, and yet that somehow, all of our homes are related. This is a book which makes one feel both large and small, a book that makes one crave the open air and the activity of youth, a book that seems to demand that we leave the cities of our adulthood, if only to remember the simplicity and joy of our youths.

 

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