Restlessly the Rat wandered off once more, climbed the slope that rose gently from the north bank of the river, and lay looking out towards the great ring of Downs that barred his vision further southwards–his simple horizon hitherto, his Mountains of the Moon, his limit behind which lay nothing he had cared to see or to know. Today, to him gazing south with new-born need stirring in his heart, the clear sky over their long low outline seemed to pulsate with promise; today, the unseen was everything, the unknown the only real fact of life. On this side of the hills was now the real blank, on the other lay the crowded and coloured panorama that his inner eye was seeing so clearly.
— from The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, 1908
It comforts me to know that Rat, simple and steadfast Water Rat, has this moment of restlessness. Even Rat, who loves his river home and is a most practical animal in this book, can have days where the unseen is everything and the present situation is blank.
Today was a day for sitting around and reading books to make the time go faster. We were homebound with the snow falling sideways outdoors. I certainly wasn’t wanting to be out in the weather, but I was wanting out. Somewhere in the future, I suppose, or to some alternate life. Perhaps a life where we sometimes go on vacations. It wasn’t a real clear vision. It was more a stirring of the heart. This could be discontent. I’ve been rather down on myself today, so it probably is discontent, one more sin added on to everything else bad I’ve thought. Or it could be the way God leads us forward. With those desires and wishes. Why is it so difficult to figure out what is good and what is wrong?