You must go on a long journey before you can really find out how wonderful home is.

She started thinking about all the euphemisms for death, all the anxious taboos that had always fascinated her. It was too bad you could never have an intelligent discussion on the subject. People were either too young or too old, or else they didn’t have time.

I need to write down my observations. Even the tiniest ones; they’re the most important.

Tove Jansson, from her book Art in Nature.

Anyway, solitary people interest me. There are so many different ways of being solitary.’

‘I know just what you mean,’ said X. ‘I know exactly what you’re going to say. Different kinds of solitude. Enforced solitude and voluntary solitude.’

‘Quite,’ said Viktoria. ‘There’s no need to go into it further. But when people understand one another without speaking, it can often leave them with very little to talk about, don’t you think?

Tove Jansson, from her book Travelling Light.

Smell is important. It reminds a person of all the things he’s been through; it is a sheath of memories and security.

My bag was as light as my happy-go-lucky heart.

Tove Jansson, from the book Travelling Light.

Most of the people are homesick anyway, and a little lonely, and they hide themselves in their hair and are turned into flowers.

Tove Jansson, from the book Sculptor’s Daughter.

An island can be dreadful for someone from outside. Everything is complete, and everyone has his obstinate, sure and self-sufficient place. Within their shores, everything functions according to rituals that are as hard as rock from repetition, and at the same time they amble through their days as whimsically and casually as if the world ended at the horizon.

Everything’s much too big here,’ thought Moominmamma. ‘Or perhaps I’m too small.

Quite, quite,’ she thought with a little sigh. ‘It’s always like this in their adventures. To save and be saved. I wish somebody would write a story sometime about the people who warm up the heroes afterward.

It’s strange, Moominmamma thought. Strange that people can be sad, and even angry because life is too easy. But that’s the way it is, I suppose. The only thing to do is to start life afresh.

But that’s how it is when you start wanting to have things. Now, I just look at them, and when I go away I carry them in my head. Then my hands are always free, because I don’t have to carry a suitcase.

Gathering is peculiar, because you see nothing but what you’re looking for. If you’re picking raspberries, you see only what’s red, and if you’re looking for bones you see only the white. No matter where you go, the only thing you see is bones.

The quiet transition from autumn to winter is not a bad time at all. It’s a time for protecting and securing things and for making sure you’ve got in as many supplies as you can. It’s nice to gather together everything you possess as close to you as possible, to store up your warmth and your thoughts and burrow yourself into a deep hole inside, a core of safety where you can defend what is important and precious and your very own.