Wisdom from Thoreau

There were times when I could not afford to sacrifice the bloom of the present moment to any work, whether of the head or the hands. I love a broad margin to my life. Sometimes, in a summer morning, having taken my accustomed bath, I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in a revery, amidst the pines and hickories and summachs, in undisturbed solitude and stillness, while the birds sang around or flittered noiseless through the house, until by the sun falling in at my west window, or the noise of some traveller’s wagon on the distant highway, I was reminded of the lapse of time. I grew in those seasons like corn in the night, and they were far better than any work of the hands would have been. They were not time subtracted from my life, but so much over and above my usual allowance.

This is an excerpt from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, an invitation for us to spend some time alone in reverie, preferably outside. That’s where I have been for part of this beautiful day, walking or just sitting in the shade on this sunny, cool day in Austin, TX. Birds, trees, wisteria in bloom, sunshine, and breeze graced my solitude amidst distant noises of the neighborhood. All of Walden Pond is here in this moment, and in you.

If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal–that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. . . . The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little stardust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.

May you enjoy sunshine, stardust, and rainbows of joy.

4 comments

  1. Susan · March 15

    I am going to get up from my desk and go outside for a few minutes. Thank you for this reminder.

  2. Kathleen · March 15

    Good plan!

  3. Jill montgomery · March 17

    love Henry David Thoreau and Walden Pond

  4. Kathleen · March 18

    Yes! I was able to visit Walden Pond in May of 2000.

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