Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll
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133

although it may tremble, it is immutable and eternal,

cemented to the earth itself. Yes, at this moment it is

almost a religious conviction he wants to impart to his

daughter, since he doesn’t have a son, and with every day

that passes he becomes more and more sure that he will

never have one and that he will have to be content with a

daughter and teach her the basic principle that an island

can withstand everything, always.

LATER, INGRID WAS TO REFLECT how strange this

evening had been, something I’ll never forget, she would

say, but this was long after the storm had passed, and only

those things which are immutable remain, an island is of

weightier stuff than a grain of sand. These thoughts are

prompted not by her father but by her mother, who, after

they have struggled home again, receives them with loud

screaming, complaining that she cannot even enter the

cowshed without this idiot of a man endangering the life of

her daughter, if he gets any more of these crazy ideas – I’ll

get a divorce and be off.

This is not the first time words of this kind have been

uttered in this plain-speaking household, they have nerves

of steel, but it is the first time Ingrid has understood what

the words mean: it is possible to leave an island.