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Paul appreciates the beauty and peace the woods afford him. He has learned to appreciate nature.
But most beautiful are the woods with their line of birch trees. Their colour changes with every minute. Now the stems gleam purest white, and between them airy and silken, hangs the pastelgreen of the leaves; the next moment all changes to an opalescent blue, as the shivering breezes pass down from the heights and touch the green lightly away; and again in one place it deepens almost to black as a cloud passes over the sun. And this shadow moves like a ghost through the dim trunks and rides far out over the moor to the sky--then the birches stand out again like gay banners on white poles, with their red and gold patches of autumn-tinted leaves.
I often become so lost in the play of soft light and transparent shadow, that I almost fail to hear the commands. It is when one is alone that one begins to observe Nature and to love her.
All Quiet on the Western Front