With the Outlander Season 5 premiere just over the ridge I recently grabbed my copies (both digital and paperback) of The Fiery Cross. My original intent was to scan the highlights that I had made when I first read the book, but over the course of two weekends, I found myself thoroughly immersed in life on Fraser’s Ridge. It sucked me in. Again.
If you haven’t read the book and are waiting for the show, I won’t spoil things for you. There are weddings and the preparations for weddings (which seem to go on for about the same number of years that separated Jamie and Claire in Season 3), the appearance of a cat, new settlers, and cameos by all the creatures you might expect to find in the North Carolina wilderness (some more menacing than others). There’s also a lot of love.
As I scanned the highlighted sections, I was reminded of quiet, beautiful moments amid never-ending turmoil and of the deep love shared by Jamie and Claire. I was reminded of my own love set against the clusterfuck that we call “current events” and, I’m not gonna lie, it had me wishing I could don a bat suit, grab my family, and head for the nearest stone circle.
Since time travel is not in my future or my past, I’m left with these calm, loving, bliss-filled quotes from Fiery Cross to get me through the week and on to Outlander Season 5. Here’s hoping that we see some of these moments on screen in the coming weeks.
“Nothing will harm ye while there is breath in my body, a nighean donn. Nothing.”
I’m a modern girl and I can take care of my damn self. Also, I love the idea that there could be another human on this earth who would fight to keep me safe. I’m complicated like that.
“I like ye fat, Sassenach,” he said softly. “Fat and juicy as a plump wee hen. I like it fine.”
Hear me out on this one. Jamie isn’t body shaming Claire! In their time, a little extra weight means that you are well-fed and healthy. In the book, Claire tells Jamie that he shouldn’t get accustomed to the look. Winter and, and it’s scarcity, are coming and Claire knows that she’ll be lean again by spring. I love this line, and the entire scene, because it shows Jamie and Claire admiring each other in their current state. Few of us can hold onto the bodies of our youth. It’s comforting then, to know that we might find a partner who admires our middle-aged body as much as the one that we inhabited in our youth.
He caught no more than a glimpse of the top of her head among the crowd on the terrace—she wouldn’t wear a proper cap, of course, the stubborn wee besom, but had some foolishness pinned on instead, a scrap of lace caught up with a cluster of ribbons and rose hips. That made him want to laugh, too, and he turned back toward the willows, smiling to himself.
This isn’t a spoken quote but it deserves a place on this list because it shows how we constantly remind ourselves why we love someone. I think of the times when I’ve spotted my love across the room without him noticing me. In the few moments before he catches my eye I think of the 17,000 ways that I find him maddening and stubborn and intolerable and how I could not imagine a life that does not include him. And he spots me looking at him and smiles and I’m lost to him all over again. I know exactly how Jamie feels.
“D’ye ken that the only time I am without pain is in your bed, Sassenach? When I take ye, when I lie in your arms—my wounds are healed, then, my scars forgotten.”
I have never been stabbed, flayed by a whip, shot, or suffered any of Jamie’s horrific injuries (why does Diana Gabaldon torture him so?). I do have anxiety though and it occasionally grabs hold of me in a most unwelcome manner. In the worst of times, I have reached for my love’s hand or rested my head on his shoulder and focused on his heartbeat. Gradually, the panic subsides. I will never cease to be amazed at the healing power of love so beautifully described in this passage by Jamie.
“To see the years touch ye gives me joy, Sassenach,” he whispered, “—for it means that ye live.”
When I was a younger woman I honestly couldn’t imagine growing old with someone. The middle-aged version of me wants nothing more than that. Time has a funny way of changing our perspective, doesn’t it?
“Mo nighean donn,” he whispered, “mo chridhe. My brown lass, my heart.” “Come to me. Cover me. Shelter me, a bhean, heal me. Burn with me, as I burn for you.”
Umm…yeah…not much to add here. If you need a moment, I’ll understand.
“I always wake when you do, Sassenach; I sleep ill without ye by my side.”
I smile each time I read this because I feel the same. I’m a pretty legendary sleeper. I fall asleep quickly, sleep soundly, and I need eight full hours if I have any hope of getting through the following day. Despite this, I always have trouble falling asleep when my love is gone and I wake up frequently feeling that something is amiss. Nothing is wrong, I just miss his presence.
“It was as though they felt the imminence of flight, and the pull of it—and that disturbed their rest. The stranger it was, because most of the birds that he had were young ones, who had never yet made the journey; they hadna seen the place where they were bound, and yet they felt it there—calling to them, perhaps, rousing them from sleep.”
This quote brings so many beautiful images to mind. I think of the old people in my childhood church singing “Beulah Land” with smiles on their faces and eyes fixed on something I knew I couldn’t see, not yet anyway. I also think of the land that has not been my home for nearly 25 years and the way it still draws me back, tugging on invisible strings that anchor my heart to the soil. Yes, “the imminence of flight” keeps us all restless and longing for a journey that we don’t yet understand but we are, nevertheless, fully prepared to make.
“When the day shall come, that we do part,” he said softly, and turned to look at me, “if my last words are not ‘I love you’—ye’ll ken it was because I didna have time.”
May we all be fortunate enough to love someone who will hold us in their final thoughts.
When I look back at these quotes I realize that they are all from Jamie and I wonder why. Diana Gabaldon says that Outlander is Jamie’s story told through Claire. If that’s the case (I mean we have to believe Herself, right?) then maybe these are the beautiful little memories that Claire tucked away through the years; all those times when she made a mental note to remember what the stubborn Scot had just said.
Whatever the reason, these quotes made me remember why I love The Fiery Cross (minus the 250 pages dedicated to “The Gathering.” Just get married already!), why I love Jamie and Claire as characters, and why I can’t wait for Outlander Season 5.
I couldn’t possibly include all the best quotes from Fiery Cross in one post. What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments!
Will you be watching Outlander Season 5 on Sunday, February 16?