Sharing in peace reclaimed from the ruins
Our children expect peculiar vacations. While their friends go to Disney World or the beach, we go to monasteries and rare book libraries, making a holiday out of castles and forests along the way and returning with odd bits of nature or history for our display case. Here, from a gravel driveway in the Cotswolds, is a fragment that might be a Neolithic arrowhead, and here, from a glade in one of Scotland’s oldest forests, is just the sort of flat stone you’d find in a fairy kitchen. Now that we’re back, the luster of our souvenirs is fading; they’re beginning to look like ordinary rocks. Yet they remind us of something ineffably precious, for they represent, at the very least, a universal longing to find renewal by re-creating the good things of the past.


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