IL FAIT BEAU, AUJOURD’HUI
Il fait beau, aujourd’hui. I am sitting in my long chair on the terrace.
The wind of the last days has scattered almost the last of the fig leaves and now through those candle-shaped boughs I love so much there is a beautiful glimpse of the old town.
Some fowls are making no end of a noise.
I’ve just been for a walk on my small boulevard and looking down below at the houses all bright in the sun and housewives washing their linen in great tubs of glittering water and flinging it over the orange trees to dry.
Perhaps all human activity is beautiful in the sunlight.
Certainly these women lifting their arms, turning to the sun to shake out the wet clothes were supremely beautiful.
I couldn’t help feeling – and after they have lived they will die and it won’t matter.
It will be all right; they won’t regret it.
(Katherine Mansfield 1888 – 1923 from her letters, volume 2, December 1920. Katherine Mansfield was a prominent writer of short fiction. Born in New Zealand she died at the age of 34 of tuberculosis.)