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92   IN THE ACADIAN LAND.

sun shall not smite them, while they have their days of beautiful existence.. And all the while the roots become charged with some subtle medicament that has power to heal the shattered nerves of weary men, as the bloom has a charm to minds and hearts that love all lovely things. Let us go back to the ledge itself ; flowers can have no greater interest. When we stand upon its shattered flank we are then on " bed-rock," as the miners call it, or on the " country rock," as the geologists term it. Between our feet and the other side of this globe the distance is about eight thousand miles ; all the way it is some kind of solid rock or metal. The soil, the mud, and gravel, and sand, in which men plant and sow, and Nature grows her forests, is nothing more than rocks made more or less fine and mixed with some vegetable mould. This earth is really a ball of stone or mineral about as heavy as if it were iron, and it floats through space like a bubble in the air, or a toy balloon rolling over and over along the viewless track around the sun, that is fourteen hundred thousand times larger than this toy world, that can neither get away from it nor fall into it. We live on the outside, at the bottom of an ocean of air, a few miles in depth, and with us are a great many other people,


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