Thoreau in the Jeep

Henry_David_Thoreau

I drive around in the woods…by the woods….circling the woods….all day.

We are not lacking in trees in this part of North Carolina.

Lately, I’ve been listening to Walden again….on my car stereo.

I downloaded a good version of it off of Librivox.org.

It’s a nice way to spend the day….delivering mail and listening to things that I’d heard quite a few times before.

I pick up something new every time.

I listened more carefully to this section yesterday.

It’s a pretty famous part of the book….so it may be familiar…

As I was leaving the Irishman’s roof after the rain, bending my steps again to the pond, my haste to catch pickerel, wading in retired meadows, in sloughs and bog-holes, in forlorn and savage places, appeared for an instant trivial to me who had been sent to school and college; but as I ran down the hill toward the reddening west, with the rainbow over my shoulder, and some faint tinkling sounds borne to my ear through the cleansed air, from I know not what quarter, my Good Genius seemed to say—Go fish and hunt far and wide day by day—farther and wider—and rest thee by many brooks and hearth-sides without misgiving. Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth. Rise free from care before the dawn, and seek adventures. Let the noon find thee by other lakes, and the night overtake thee everywhere at home. There are no larger fields than these, no worthier games than may here be played. Grow wild according to thy nature, like these sedges and brakes, which will never become English bay. Let the thunder rumble; what if it threaten ruin to farmers’ crops? That is not its errand to thee. Take shelter under the cloud, while they flee to carts and sheds. Let not to get a living be thy trade, but thy sport. Enjoy the land, but own it not. Through want of enterprise and faith men are where they are, buying and selling, and spending their lives like serfs

There are reasons that people come back to a book over and over.

That passage pretty much says it all…..”take shelter under the cloud, while they flee to carts and sheds. Let not to get a living be thy trade, but thy sport….”

Man, Thoreau!! You nailed it.

That’s the kind of stuff that will free you or completely mess you up, though.

I don’t want the kids to say, “Hey….where’s Dad?” and have to get the answer that I’m in my “castle in the sky”.

If a life of quiet desperation means that everybody’s safe and dry….well, then, that’s a good trade-off.

But….but….but…..”Grow wild according to thy nature, like these sedges and brakes, which will never become English bay.” sounds pretty darn good and righteous somehow, too.

That would be a good thing to teach the kids…to some degree….

“Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth”!!

That would be a good thing to teach the kids….period.

Maybe that’s what I’m really shooting for?

Some weird measure of “controlled wildness”?

Thoreau is just great!

Great stuff.

“books by thoreau” Surprise

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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