|Chapter 14: The Last Bourne|
She had been exposed to the Sunbane for so long that she had forgotten what the Earth's health felt like.
But then she stood on the turf with all her nerves open and realized that what she felt was more than simple health. It was Law quintessenced and personified, a reification of the vitality which made life precious and the Land desirable. It was an avatar of spring, the revel of summer; it was autumn glory and winter peace. The grass under her feet sprang and gleamed, seemed to lift her to a taller stature. The sap in the trees rose like fire, beneficent and alive. Flowers scattered color everywhere. Every breath and scent and sensation was sapid beyond bearing--and yet they urged her to bear them. Each new exquisite perception led her onward instead of daunting her, carried her out of herself like a current of ecstasy.
Laughter and weeping rose in her together and could not be uttered. This was Andelain, the heart of the Land Covenant loved. He lay on his face in the grass, arms outspread as if to hug the ground; and she knew that the Hills had changed everything. Not in him, but in her. There were many things she did not understand; but this she did: the bale of the Sunbane had no power here. She was free of it here. And the Law which brought such health to life was worth the price any heart was willing to pay.
That affirmation came to her like a clean sunrise. It was the positive conviction for which she had been so much in need. Any price. To preserve the last beauty of the Land. Any price at all.