“I’ll have to calm down a bit. Or else I’ll burst with happiness.”

You were talking about the wind, the Fillyjonk said suddenly. A wind that carries off your washing. But I’m speaking about cyclones. Typhoons, Gaffsie dear. Tornadoes, whirlwinds, sandstorms… Flood waves that carry houses away… But most of all I’m talking about myself and my fears, even if I know that’s not done. I know everything will turn out badly. I think about that all the time. Even while I’m washing my carpet. Do you understand that? Do you feel the same way?

The spirit of adventure sped through his soul on mighty wings.

Now everything was changed. She walked about with cautious, anxious steps, staring constantly at the ground, on the lookout for things that crept and crawled. Bushes were dangerous, and so were sea grass and rain water. There were little animals everywhere. They could turn up between the covers of a book, flattened and dead, for the fact is that creeping animals, tattered animals, and dead animals are with us all our lives, from beginning to end. Grandmother tried to discuss this with her, to no avail. Irrational terror is so hard to deal with.

Isn’t it fun when one’s friends get exactly what suits them?

Grandmother walked up over the bare granite and thought about birds in general. It seemed to her no other creature had the same dramatic capacity to underline and perfect events — the shifts in the seasons and the weather, the changes that run through people themselves.

It’s funny about paths and rivers, he mused. You see them go by, and suddenly you feel upset and want to be somewhere else—wherever the path or the river is going, perhaps.

Before we left, Grandmother talked a lot about the arctic night we would fly through. ‘Isn’t it a mystical word, “arctic”? Pure and quite hard. And meridians. Isn’t that pretty? We’re going to fly along them, faster than the light can follow us… Time won’t be able to catch us.

Tove Jansson, from her book Art in Nature.

“You seem to be yourself again. Actually, you’re nicer that way.”

It’s a funny thing about bogs. You can fill them with rocks and sand and old logs and make a little fenced-in yard on top with a woodpile and chopping block – but bogs go right on behaving like bogs. Early in the spring they breathe ice and make their own mist, in remembrance of the time when they had black water and their own sedge blossoming untouched.

But he thought all the strange words were beautiful, and he had never had a book of his own before.

The lamp sizzled as it burned. It made everything seem close and safe, a little family circle they all knew and trusted. Outside this circle lay everything that was strange and frightening, and the darkness seemed to reach higher and higher and further and further away, right to the end of the world.

I mean, anyone can let Danger out but the really clever thing is finding somewhere for it to go afterwards.

Tove Jansson, from the book Sculptor’s Daughter.

..by and by a change came: I started to muse about the shape of my nose. I put my trivial surroundings aside and mused more and more about myself, and I found this to be a bewitching occupation. I stopped asking and longed instead to speak of my thoughts and feelings. Alas, there was no one besides myself who found me interesting.

I want your first trip to be with me. I want to show you cities and landscapes and teach you how to look at things in new ways and how to get along in places you don’t already know inside out. I want to put some life in you…

Tove Jansson, from her book Art in Nature.

He was the owner of the moonlight on the ground, he fell in love with the most beautiful of the trees, he made wreaths of leaves and strung them around his neck.

“It would be awful if the world exploded. It is so wonderfully splendid.”

It’s only the sea,’ said Moomintroll. ‘Every wave that dies on the beach sings a little song to a shell. But you mustn’t go inside because it’s a labyrinth and you may never come out again.

Some people just shouldn’t be disturbed in their inclinations, whether large or small. A reminder can instantly turn enthusiasm into aversion and spoil everything.

Tove Jansson, from her book Fair Play.

A very long time ago, Grandmother had wanted to tell about all the things they did, but no one had bothered to ask. And now she had lost the urge.

They were always doing something. Quietly, without interruption, and with great concentration, they carried on with the hundred-and-one small things that made up their world.