Is there any felicity superior to this?
Posted by LizzyBeth
Nothing brings out the Jane Austen in me like travel. I am not sure why. I suppose it could be because she has such a way with words and describing scenes and scenery with just the right amount of detail that you are not overwhelmed by adjectives. It could be that I am just rather strange. Regardless, travel always makes me think of Jane Austen and her world.
What do I mean when I say “the Jane Austen” in me? It is not something that is firmly grasped even in my own mind. It is more like a feeling, a dreaminess. Jane Austen has a certain sort pace to her novels, like a long walk through a park–they take their time but they have a destination. When I travel, I adopt this pace. It is okay and right for me to stop and spend hours in a garden taking pictures, a meal should be as long as I want it to be, and conversations are the heart of everything that I do. Jane Austen’s novels are all about conversation, nature, and matters of the heart. And so when I travel, I finally let my life be filled with those things.
I first experienced this when I went to England. (I know what could be more Jane Austen than England? Nothing!) England was the first real vacation I took as an adult. My sister and I went to Oxford, Warwick Castle, Glastonbury Abby, Wells, Bath, Edinburgh, and London. It was ten days of travel and sights!
At this point I think I was just too thrilled at traveling and seeing my beloved English to really dwell on what I was feeling. The air was liberating. I could breath, walk and enjoy sights and sounds and the world with no pressure of time.
Maybe I think of Jane Austen when I travel because while we were in England, we of course took to the streets of Bath with a self guided Jane Austen Tour. We proceeded to walk where she walked and listened to exerts from her books and her life at each place. It was perhaps one of the most memorable experiences of my life.
The gravel walk is really nothing more than an alley way with houses on one side and trees shading the other. There is nothing significant to this walkway unless you are familiar with Persuasion. It is on the gravel walk that love is rekindled and the hope of shattered dreams are reborn for dear sweet Anne and Captain Wentworth.
“and soon words enough had passed between them to decide their direction towards the comparatively quiet and retired gravel walk, where the power of conversation would make the present hour a blessing indeed, and prepare it for all the immortality which the happiest recollections of their own future lives could bestow. There they exchanged again those feelings and those promises which had once before seemed to secure everything, but which had been followed by so many, many years of division and estrangement. There they returned again into the past, more exquisitely happy, perhaps, in their re-union, than when it had been first projected; more tender, more tried, more fixed in a knowledge of each other’s character, truth, and attachment;
more equal to act, more justified in acting. And there, as they slowly paced the gradual ascent, heedless of every group around them, seeing neither sauntering politicians, bustling housekeepers, flirting girls, nor nursery-maids and children, they could indulge in those retrospections and acknowledgements, and especially in those explanations of what had directly preceded the present moment, which were so poignant and so ceaseless in interest. All the little
variations of the last week were gone through; and of yesterday and today there could scarcely be an end. “
In a strange sort of way my recent venture to Spain was like that sort of rekindling of affections. Oh, I had never been to Spain, but it was the reaffirmation of my love of travel that blossomed. Every morning was a new adventure that I could not wait to start.
I could breath again, fresh clean air…
Then again with view and prospects like this, is there any felicity superior to this?
No amount of climbing hills or stairs, winding streets or hiking trails could dim my joy at seeing such beauty. I had constant visions of Elizabeth Bennett walking to town or Maryanne on one of her walks through the country. I know Spain was not their country but I felt the pace of walking from the bustle of the town to the heights of the castles or surrounding hills. Suddenly, I was not a modern time-driven woman, but a romantic who had all the time in the world to dwell on the finer points of conversation, nature and the matters of the heart.
About LizzyBethThere is a Story inside of me that I must give a voice. I write so that imagination can take me to Faerie and I can catch a glimpse of the Otherworld and hopefully so will you.
Posted on May 11, 2012, in Authors, Jane Austen, Lantern Hollow Press Authors, Rachel Burkholder, Travel and tagged Jane Austen, Persuasion, Segovia, Spain, travel. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.