“i had a farm in africa at the foot of the ngong hills..”
with these words karen von blixen (with her pen name isak dinesen) starts her memoir “out of africa”. she narrates her life in the farmland in the ngong hills, southwest of nairobi.
“i had a farm in africa at the foot of the ngong hills. the equator runs across these highlands, a hundred miles to the north, and the farm lay at an altitude of over six thousand feet. in the day-time you felt that you had got high up; near to the sun, but the early mornings and evenings were limpid and restful, and the nights were cold.”
this memoir was later turned into a movie (which i STILL did not see!), starring meryl streep & robert redford. however, the movie is only loosely based on the book. unlike the movie, the novel does not have a defined plot, it in the slow way narrates the author’s years spent in africa; it contains mix of landscapes of kenya, events with natives and author’s plans, dreams and thoughts.
and this is how i decided to group all those lovely quotes i came across when reading the book.
the first part is dedicated to africa, its landscapes and emotions it creates in the author. it is also a part which inspired me to start planning a trip to that corner of the world.
“the geographical position, and the height of the land combined to create a landscape that had not its like in all the world. there was no fat on it and no luxuriance anywhere; it was africa distilled up through six thousand feet, like strong and refined essence of a continent.”
“the views were immensely wide. everything that you saw made for greatness and freedom, and unequealled nobility.”
“when you have caught the rhythm of africa, you find that it is the same in all her music.”
the second part is dedicated to development of author’s emotions and feelings towards life during the eighteen years spent in africa.. what she has learned from the natives and from the nature itself, how she became addicted to her surrounding, and finally, how she was feeling when she realized she ought to sell the farm and move back to europe.
“perhaps he knew, as i did not, that the earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road.”
“up in this air you breathed easily, drawing in a vital assurance and lightness of heart. in the highlands you woke up in the morning and thought: here i am, where i ought to be.”
“my life, i will not let you go except you bless me, but then i will let you go.”
“there are things which cannot be carried through even with the good will of everybody concerned”
“when in the end, the day came on which i was going away, i learned the strange learning that things can happen which we ourselves cannot possibly imagine, either beforehand, or at the time when they are taking place, or afterwards when we look back on them.”
i absolutely loved this book. it reminded me how important it is to be connected to our homeland, no matter if it’s the country we were born in or the country we decided to make our home. after all, this world is our homeland.