10 December 1920

10 December 1920

Villa Isola Bella, Menton, France

Il fait beau, aujourd'hui. I am sitting in my long chair on the terrace. The wind of the last days has scattered almost the last of the fig leaves & now through those candle shaped boughs I love so much there is a beautiful glimpse of the old town. Some fowls are making no end of a noise. Ive just been for a walk on my small boulevard & looking down below at the houses all bright in the sun and housewives washing their linen in great tubs of glittering water & flinging it over the orange trees to dry. Perhaps all human activity is beautiful in the sunlight. Certainly these women lifting their arms, turning to the sun to shake out the wet clothes were supremely beautiful. I couldn't help feeling - and after they have lived they will die and it wont matter. It will be alright, they wont regret it.
A small slender bird is pecking the blue bay berries. Birds are much wilder here, much quicker: properly on the qui vive, you know. Bogey dear, do you mind? Ive done with England. I dont even want to see England again. Is that awful? I feel it is rather. I know you will always want to go back. I am collecting possessions at an awful rate. All my pennies go on them. Dont expect your Wig to have 2 pairs of flannel trousers; she only buys 2 pairs of curtains or a pair of coffee pots. But they are all movables. They can all be carried up the mountains. Wander with me 10 years, will you darling? Ten years in the sun. Its not long - only 10 springs. If I manage to live for 10 years I don't think Id mind dying at 42 and then you'd be about the age of Johnny Fergusson - very beautiful and brown and free and easy moving in your ways.

[To J. M. Murry in Collected Letters]