July 12, 2011
Moreau Lake State Park
Today, the twelfth of July, is the birth-day
of Henry David Thoreau.
Many Happy Returns of the Day to you sir!
When we walk we naturally go
to the fields and woods;
what would become of us
if we walked only in a garden
or a mall?
Even some sects of philosophers
have felt the necessity
of importing the woods to themselves
since they did not go to the woods,
"They planted groves and walks of Platans"
where they took subdiales ambulationes
in porticoes open to the air.
Of course, it is of no use
to direct our steps to the woods,
if they do not carry us thither.
I am alarmed when it happens
that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily,
without getting there in spirit.
In my afternoon walk I would fain forget
all my morning occupations,
and my obligations to society.
But it sometimes happens that I cannot easily
shake off the village.
The thought of some work will run in my head,
and I am not where my body is;
I am out of my senses.
In my walks I would fain return to my senses.
What business have I in the woods,
if I am thinking of something out of the woods?
11 hours ago