I love this world. That is what rules my life.
He paused suddenly and looked away, over across the bay, silently watching the dip and wheel of seabirds over the water until the timeless image had calmed him enough to continue.
“Your pardon,” he said when he finally looked back at Janey and Clare. “I’ve lived through one World War only to watch the world grow worse instead of better when we finally put down that madman’s Reich.”
He laid a hand on the stone beside him, stroking its smooth surface with his fingers.
“I love this world,” he added. “That is what rules my life. When I die, I want to have done all in my power to leave it in a better state than it was when I found it. At the same time I know that this can never be. The world has grown so complex that one voice can do little to alter it any longer. That doesn’t stop me from doing all I can, but it makes the task hard. The successes are so small, the failures so large and many. It’s like trying to stem a storm with one’s bare hands.”