Joyful Desideratum

January 31, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

“I wonder whether I have made you realize the unique values of the Park without over-painting. For the globe-trotter who boasts of his planetizing ability and cares for sights only as they are big there is precious little in the Catskills. For the man who must have beetling crags, and whose enjoyment is ruined if there is another man in the same county, there is but little more. But for him who is not blind to one type of beauty simply because he can remember others, the Catskill Mountains and their surrounding hills are rich with a variety of wealth quite unimaginable.

 

Before I visited them I imagined that they were a set of mediocre hills infested by a sandwich-eating summer populace. I found impressive ranges, noble cliffs, forests with game, streams with fish, and I came away with recollections of many cheerful firesides. In no other American vacation-land can one find a more interesting alternation of forest tramping and village living, a richer background of subdued mountain and inviting valley, a sympathetic native population with finer historic antecedents and more solid qualities. If the Eternal isn’t visible to you there, it will never be in remoter lands. Happiness may not be the supreme good, but it is a joyful desideratum. It is found only where there is harmony between the without and the within. For experiments in harmonizing, I know of no more convenient spot than this Land of Little Rivers.”

 

--- The Catskills, T. Morris Longstreth.

 


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