Willa Cather

Just a quote that sets up dying with the up most peace and understanding. From Death Comes for the Archbishop:

In New Mexico he always awoke a young man; not until he rose and began to shave did he realize  that he was growing older. His first consciousness was of the light dry wind blowing in through the window.  With the fragrance of hot sun and sage brush and sweet clover; that made ones body feel light and ones heart cry  “to-day, to-day,” like a child’s.

Beautiful surroundings, the society of learned men, the charm of noble women, the graces of art, could not make up to him for the loss of the light-hearted, mornings of the desert, for that wind that made one a boy again. He had noticed that this peculiar quality in the air of new countries vanished after they were tamed by man and made to bear harvest. Parts of Texas and Kansas that he had first known as open range had since been made into rich farming districts, and the air had quite lost that lightness, that dry aromatic odour. The moisture of plowed land and growth and grain bearing, had utterly destroyed it; one could breath that only on the bright edges of the world, on the great grass plains on the sage-brush desert.

That air would disappear from the whole earth in time, perhaps; but long after his day. He did not know when it had become so necessary to him, but he had come back to die in exile for the sake of it  Something wild and soft and free, something that whispered to the ear on the pillow, lightened the heart, softly, softly picked the lock,  slid the bolt,  and released the prisoned spirit of man into the wind, into the blue and gold, into the morning into the morning!

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