December 17th, 2012

christmas

Advent post No.6: Dulce Domum by Kenneth Grahame

ratmole

Dulce Domum is one of my favourite chapters from The Wind in the Willows. The Mole and the Rat have been out all day with Otter and are returning home through the early dusk of midwinter. Passing through a village they see squares of a dusky orange red on either side of the street, where the firelight or lamplight of each cottage overflowed through the casements into the dark world without. Most of the low latticed windows were innocent of blinds, and to the lookers-in from outside, the inmates, gathered round the tea-table, absorbed in handiwork, or talking with laughter and gesture, had each that happy grace which is the last thing the skilled actor shall capture … the two spectators, so far from home themselves, had something of wistfulness in their eyes as they watched a cat being stroked, a sleepy child picked up and huddled off to bed …

So Grahame sets up, at the beginning of the chapter, the ideal of the cosy home, all fire and warmth and happy companionship.
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