letters between dickinson and jackson

To Emily Dickinson
From Helen Hunt Jackson

3 February 1885

My dear Miss Dickinson,

Thank you heartily for the fan. It is pathetic, in its small-ness - poor souls - how did they come to think of making such tiny ones. - I shall wear it sometimes, like a leaf on my breast. -

Your letter found me in Los Angeles, where I have been for two months & a little more. - Sunning myself, and trying to get on my feet. - I had hoped by this time to be able to go without crutches, and venture to New York, for the remainder of the winter - but I am disappointed. So far as the broken leg is concerned, I could walk with a cane now: but the whole leg having been badly strained by doing double duty so long, is obstinate about getting to work again, is very lame and sore, & I am afraid badly given out - so that I will take months for it to recover. - I dislike this exceedingly; - but dare not grumble, lest a worse thing befall me: & if I did grumble, I should deserve it, - but I am absolutely well - drive the whole of every afternoon in an open carriage on roads where larks sing & flowers are in bloom: I can do everything I ever could - except walk! - and if I never walk again it will still remain true that I have had more than a half centurys excellent trotting out of my legs - so even then, I suppose I ought not to be rebellious. - Few people get as much out of one pair of legs as I have! -

This Santa Monica is a lovely little Seaside hamlet, - only eighteen miles from Los Angeles, - one of the most beautiful Seaside places I ever saw: green to the tip edge of the cliffs, flowers blooming and choruses of birds, all winter. - There can be nothing in this world nearer perfection than this South california climate for winter. - Cool enough to make a fire necessary, night & morning: but warm enough to keep flowers going, all the time, in the open air, - grass & barley are many inches high - some of the "volunteer" crops already in head. - As I write - (in bed, before breakfast,) I am looking straight off towards Japan - over a silver sea - my foreground is a strip of high grass, and mallows, with a row of Eucalyptus trees sixty or seventy feet high: - and there is a positive cackle of linnets.

Searching here, for Indian relics, especially the mortars or bowls hollowed out of stone, with the solid stone pestles they used to pound their acorns in, I have found two Mexican women called Ramona, from whom I have bought the Indian mortars. -

I hope you are well - and at work - I wish I knew what your portfolios, by this time, hold.

Yours ever truly
Helen Jackson.

thomas johnson's note on letter 976 | index to dickinson/jackson letters

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