“The strength of the hills is not ours.”

This quote from J.R.R. Tolkein does a great job of illustrating what I was talking about in my essay about fantasy and modernity:

[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.

HT: Front Porch Republic.


  1. Yes! This is exactly what I was trying to show in Moon Over Donamorgh. The Magic of the Earth is simply a result of living fully on the land.

    But shame on you for pointing me to all those links (FPR, et al.) I don’t have time to do all this reading!

  2. mmm…that quote is freaking inspiring. I linked it from my blog. It’s amazing, what Tolkein says in just a few sentences, I haven’t been able to say in the four substantial posts I’ve made about gardening. jeesh.

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