Dry Land Sailors

Big Bend National Park, West Texas www.bluemesablog.com

‘The sense of immensity which attaches to the prairie is oppressive in its nature; and the soul seeks for some sort of counter-balancing protection against the feeling of being, as it were, lost in space. Men who live upon the sea, it has always been observed, are given to devotion or superstition, or by whatever name you choose to describe the religious instinct, and they would be, I think, still more so inclined, if instead of sailing in company they sailed mostly alone; and the settlers of the West are, after all, a sort of dry-land sailors, anchored each in their own bark at their several moorings.’

from ‘Religion in America’ by Edward Dicey, Macmillan’s Magazine, London 1867.

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