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Tolkien Sees A Dryad


Reader Michael Sacasas, whose blog is called The Frailest Thing, writes:

Some of your recent posts, couple with your enduring themes, brought to mind this paragraph from JRR Tolkien in a letter to Arthur Greaves from 1930:

“[Family life must have been different] in the days when a family had fed on the produce of the same few miles of country for six generations, and that perhaps was why they saw nymphs in the fountains and dryads in the wood – they were not mistaken for there was in a sense real (not metaphorical) connections between them and the countryside. What had been earth and air and later corn, and later still bread, really was in them. We of course who live on a standardized international diet…are artificial beings and have no connection (save in sentiment) with any place on earth. We are synthetic men, uprooted. The strength of the hills is not ours.”

That great image above, by the way, comes from my friend Matt Bonzo, with whom I stayed when I was visiting Grand Rapids earlier this year. Matt and his wife Dorothe (that’s her above in the orange sweater; I wrote about them here) have a big organic farm in rural western Michigan. It was covered in snow when I saw it. Spring has finally come to Michigan!

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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