19 Dec 1921

19 December 1921

Chalet des Sapins, Montana-sur-Sierre, Switzerland

Dearest Ottoline,
   I have just found the letter I wrote you on the first of November. I would send it you as a proof of good faith but I reread it. Grim thing to do - isn't it? There is a kind of fixed smile on old letters which reminds one of the bridling look of old photographs. So its torn up and I begin again.
   I don't know what happens to Time here. It seems to become shorter and shorter; to whisk round the corners, to become all tail, all Saturday to Monday. This must sound absurd coming from so remote a spot as our mountain peaks. But there it is. We write, we read, M. goes off with his skates, I go for a walk through my field glasses and another day is over. This place makes one work. Perhaps its the result of living among mountains; one must bring forth a mouse or be overwhelmed.
  If climate were everything, then Montana must be very near Heaven. The sun shines and shines. Its cold in the shade, but out of it it is hot enough for a hat and a parasol - far and away hotter than the S. of France, and windless. All the streams are solid little streams of ice, there are thin patches of snow, like linen drying, on the fields. The sky is high, transparent, with marvellous sunsets. And when the moon rises & I look out of my window down into the valley full of clouds its like looking out of the Ark while it bobbed above the flood.
[To Ottoline Morell, c. 20 December 1921.]