The living presence of the Great World was very very present to me. It was always clear to me from my own life that where we were nature could have just swept us away in a moment. It seemed ancient and authoritative and tolerant – but not terribly tolerant! – of our being there. My grandparents had a house that was built on Victorian notions of health. There was a sleeping porch so that you could sleep in the open air when it wasn't terribly cold. We would be out there in the middle of the night. No light anywhere except the stars. And you would hear the wind in the forest. It was amazing.
-- Marilynne Robinson, interviewed by Matthew Sweet (from about 25 minutes in)