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THE LIGHTHOUSEcorner to sit in, ‘Oh good-morning, Mrs. Beckwith!What a lovely day! Are you going to be so bold as tosit in the sun? Jasper’s hidden the chairs. Do let mefind you one!’ and all the rest of the usual chatter.One need not speak at all. One glided, one shook one’ssails (there was a good deal of movement in the bay,boats were starting off) between things, beyond things.Empty it was not, but full to the brim. She seemed tobe standing up to the lips in some substance, to moveand float and sink in it, yes, for these waters were un-fathomably deep. Into them had spilled so many lives.The Ramsays’; the children’s; and all sorts of waifsand strays of things besides. A washerwoman with herbasket; a rook; a red-hot poker; the purples and grey-greens of flowers: some common feeling which heldthe whole together.

It was some such feeling of completeness perhapswhich, ten years ago, standing almost where she stoodnow, had made her say that she must be in love withthe place. Love had a thousand shapes. There mightbe lovers whose gift it was to choose out the elementsof things and place them together and so, giving thema wholeness not theirs in life, make of some scene, ormeeting of people (all now gone and separate), one ofthose globed compacted things over which thoughtlingers, and love plays.

Her eyes rested on the brown speck of Mr. Ramsay’ssailing boat. They would be at the Lighthouse bylunch time she supposed. But the wind had freshened,and, as the sky changed slightly and the sea changedslightly and the boats altered their positions, the view,which a moment before had seemed miraculouslyfixed, was now unsatisfactory. The wind had blown223