4 Sep 1921

4 September 1921

Chalet des Sapins, Montana-sur-Sierre, Switzerland

Since I last wrote summer has gone. Its autumn. Now Jack brings home from his walks mushrooms and autumn crocuses. Little small girls knock at the door with pears to sell & blue black plums. The hives have been emptied; there's new honey and the stars look almost frosty. Speaking of stars reminds me - we were sitting on the balcony last night. It was dark. These huge fir trees ‘take' the darkness marvellously. We had just counted four stars & remarked a light, high up - what was it? on the mountains opposite, when suddenly from far away a little bell began ringing. Someone played a tune on it - something gay, merry, ancient, over and over. I suppose it was some priest or lay brother in a mountain village. But what we felt was - its good to think such things still happen to think some peasant goes off in the late evening & delights to play that carillon. I sometimes have a fear that simple hearted people are no more. I was ashamed of that fear last night. The little bell seemed to say, but joyfully: ‘Be not afraid. All is not lost.' [To Richard Murry, Collected Letters, 5 September 1921.]