“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden

We’re off up to Eileen again at the weekend to move her back towards Hardwick Wharf, her home mooring.

Looking back to my outward trip a couple of weekends ago, what strikes me forceably is the way that a short and familiar journey on the boat was able to fill me with such a positive sense of optimism, well-being and contentment.

And it brought to mind the writings of Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist.

Each new year is a surprise to us. We find that we had virtually forgotten the note of each bird, and when we hear it again, it is remembered like a dream, reminding us of a previous state of existence… The voice of nature is always encouraging. Henry David Thoreau

He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings.

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. Henry David Thoreau

Among his lasting contributions were his writings on natural history and philosophy, where he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern day environmentalism. His literary style interweaves close natural observation, personal experience, pointed rhetoric,symbolic meanings, and historical lore, while displaying a poetic sensibility, philosophical austerity, and “Yankee” love of practical detail. He was also deeply interested in historical change and natural decay; at the same time he advocated abandoning waste and illusion in order to discover life’s true essential needs.

I’m looking forward to re-connecting with the boat, the landscape and the water once more – though this time (hopefully) with the whole family coming along to share the experience too. And, for once, the forecast, particularly for Sunday. is looking pretty optimistic. Grand!


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