Posts Tagged ‘Thoreau


A new day….

‘The sun is but a morning star.’ Henry David Thoreau

sunrise, new day, morning, SwittersB


Thoreau at Walden Pond……….

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.     Thoreau

farm pond rural KHam Missouri


Missing Passages, Missing Pieces…Even Then

“When I consider that the nobler animals have been exterminated here – the cougar, the panther, lynx, wolverine, wolf, bear, moose, dear, the beaver, the turkey and so forth and so forth, I cannot but feel as if I lived in a tamed and, as it were, emasculated country… Is it not a maimed and imperfect nature I am conversing with? As if I were to study a tribe of Indians that had lost all it’s warriors…I take infinite pains to know all the phenomena of the spring, for instance, thinking that I have here the entire poem, and then, to my chagrin, I hear that it is but an imperfect copy that I possess and have read, that my ancestors have torn out many of the first leaves and grandest passages, and mutilated it in many places. I should not like to think that some demigod had come before me and picked out some of the best of the stars. I wish to know an entire heaven and an entire earth.”

Henry David Thoreau, The Journal (1831-1867)



Solitude in Nature

tree-Oregon-overhanging-Salmon River-late Summer-photography-SwittersB

Thoreau’s Need for Solitude

“By my intimacy with nature I find myself withdrawn from man. My interest in the sun and the moon, in the morning and the evening, compels me to solitude.” July 25, 1851

“Ah! I need solitude. I have come forth to this hill at sunset to see the forms of the mountains in the horizon — to behold and commune with something grander than man. It is with infinite yearning and aspiration that I seek solitude, more and more resolved and strong…”   August 14, 1854

“I have lately got back to that glorious society called Solitude.” January 1, 1859

Often we are tired of being alone. We seek company, we crave the touch. We need the frenetic noise of ‘culture’. But, for some, perhaps not as obsessively as Thoreau, we seek solitude, if even for a quiet sunrise or sunset. Or, we seek it for the longer hike up into the woods, or along the stream’s edge, to a vista that’s bigger than us and our acquired burdens.

I recently sat, alone, overlooking a river. The sound of the water tumbling down over rock ledges and plunging, the sound birds in the trees above, the feel of the cool breeze against my face was beyond peaceful or relaxing. Had I been in an urban setting, my mind would probably be flittering about, dancing from one tedious worry or plan to another. The silence would have to be thwarted with the TV or stereo or the clickety clack of a keyboard. Antsy, I would need to busy myself. On the river, I felt none of that. No timeline, no noise beyond nature’s rhythm. My senses were acutely honed in on details beyond my mind’s clatter. Solitude in Nature is invigorating while soothing. 

streamside-salmon river-oregon-coast-late summer-photography-SwittersB


Life’s Challenges……..Not Always Black and White


“Wherever the army has passed, briars and thorns spring up. Years of hunger follow in the wake of a great war.”  Lao Tzu

“Drown me! Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please,” said Brer Rabbit. “Only please, Brer Fox, please don’t throw me into the briar patch.”  Cherokee/Slaves/Georgia Folklore

“Truths and Roses have thorns about them.” Henry David Thoreau


What Beckons Beyond?

Looking in or looking out, what do curtains hide, reveal, beckon? Beyond the lace, one’s point of view is different about what exists inside or outside.

To be admitted to Nature’s hearth costs nothing.
None is excluded, but excludes himself.
You have only to push aside the curtain.
– Henry David Thoreau

curtains SB

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