"nothing here has surprised me. least of all, the presence of Anatole Ngemba. one morning he was here, and every day after that, holding a burning tin cup of bitter tea to my mouth and repeating my name, 'Beene-Beene.' the truest truth. for my whole sixteen years i've rarely thought i was worth much more than a distracted grumble from God. but now in my shelter of all things impossible, i drift in a warm bath of forgiveness, and it seems pointless to resist. i have no energy for improving myself. if Anatole can wrap all my rattlebone sins in a blanket and call me goodness itself, why then i'll just believe him. that is all i can offer by way of explaining our surprising courtship. as i wake up out of my months-long sleep, i find the course of my life has narrowed right down, and i feel myself rushing along it like a flood of rich, red mud. i believe i'm very happy.
Anatole banished the honey-colored ache of malaria and guilt from my blood. by Anatole i was shattered and assembled, by way of Anatole i am delivered not out of my life but through it.
love changes everything. i never suspected it would be so. requited love, i should say, for i've loved my father fiercely my whole life, and it changed nothing. but now, all around me, the flame trees have roused from their long, dry sleep into walls of scarlet blossom. Anatole moves through the dappled shade at the edges of my vision, wearing the silky pelt of a panther. i crave to feel that pelt against my neck. i crave it with a predator's impatience, ignoring time, keening to the silence of owls."
the poisonwood bible. barbara kingsolver.