The Spring without a leaf to toss, bare and bright like a virgin fierce in her chastity, scornful in her purity, was laid out on fields wide-eyed and watchful and entirely careless of what was done or thought by the beholders.
And now in the heat of summer the wind sent its spies about the house again. Flies wove a web in the sunny rooms; weeds that had grown close to the glass in the night tapped methodically at the window pane. When darkness fell, the stroke of the Lighthouse, which had laid itself with such authority upon the carpet in the darkness, tracing its pattern, came now in the softer light of spring mixed with moonlight gliding gently as if it laid its caress and lingered stealthily and looked and came lovingly again. But in the very lull of this loving caress, as the long stroke leant upon the bed, the rock was rent asunder; another fold of the shawl loosened; there it hung, and swayed. Through the short summer nights and the long summer days, when the empty rooms seemed to murmur with the echoes of the fields and the hum of flies, the long streamer waved gently, swayed aimlessly; while the sun so striped and barred the rooms and filled them with yellow haze that Mrs McNab, when she broke in and lurched about, dusting, sweeping, looked like a tropical fish oaring its way through sun-lanced waters.
My dears, these two paragraph that you have just read are two excerpts from Chapter 6, Part 2: Time Passes, of Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse, (first published 1927). I apologize for this long-winding way of siting the paragraphs, but I must do so in the case that there are copyright complications.
I feel that Virginia Woolf's way of describing Spring is so vibrant and fresh. It paints a picture in my mind of Spring as a fierce, vivacious, girl. I can just see her twirling in an emerald green dress, all spattered with laughing daisies, chin up, eyes ingenuously open, hands spread wide to receive bunches of grass and leaves. I really love it. She is innocent, but she is also strong. That is how I see her. Don't those short and simple words just paint a picture that is so complex and profound?
...while the sun so striped and barred the rooms and filled them with yellow haze that Mrs McNab, when she broke in and lurched about, dusting, sweeping, looked like a tropical fish oaring its way through sun-lanced waters.
I love this. Isn't there so much story in it? I can smell honey and fresh cut grass on a salty breeze. It reminds me so much of when I think of home when I'm on holiday. I think about it sitting silent and empty, full of sunlight and emotions fossilised in time until our return. This excerpt depicts a period when nobody is in the house, and a single maid maintains it. She looks after it and keeps it exactly as it was for when the family comes homes, but years pass. It is exactly as though the emotions and events that were felt and experienced in that house are fossilised in time, and kept clean and ready for them by Mrs McNab. Isn't it full of story?