The Savage Himalayan Look of our Mountains in Winter

[Letter excerpt, 1948]

Mon Capitaine,

The return to reality proved to be no great shock – but a very great trial. We got home 20 minutes before the heaviest blizzard of the century obliterated every road for 500 miles. This was followed hard upon by intense cold that promptly froze every pipe in the house; a sudden thaw a week later broke a pipe and flooded us out; all that stopped it was another freeze that broke more pipes. And so it goes.

Looking back (as we all do) California has something of a dreamy, Hesperides quality, a never-never land where it is always afternoon. A nice thing to think about, a pleasant stage to look at, but then I ask myself (always an attentive listener) whether I would like to live all the time under warm floodlights and amid the unswept litter of an overcrowded stage. Ans. No: the savage Himalayan look of our mountains in winter does me much good.

Never since I moved to Utah have I had the bored and restless feeling, that haunting urge to get away, which never let me alone in California. This is hard, but it is the way it should be. I’m not the only one who feels thataway: the steady stream of California cars that burden our narrow roads from April to October attest an unquiet soul in the bosom of the Californian – I hasten to add that 90% of these cars for from the glorious Southland.


About Hugh Nibley

Hugh Nibley, 1910-2005, was simultaneously the LDS Church's greatest intellectual defender from attack from the outside and Mormon culture's strongest critic from the inside. This blog is composed mainly from Nibley's unpublished writings, letters, interviews and conversations, with occasional posts from associates who had personal interactions with him.
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