Tuesday, September 16, 2008

More than a wet leaf...

Early one morning I opened the door to the deck to find this sugar maple leaf with its world of water droplets...and it struck me as a beautiful painting would, full of beauty and layers of thought, emotion, and reflection (literally and figuratively)...

I suppose there are those that would never even notice such a thing, or care to look beyond a wet leaf, but I couldn't help but stop and marvel at the perfection of Nature. Henry David Thoreau was always good for introspection as it relates to the natural world, and so I pulled up some quotes of his that you might find worthy of mulling over...

(click on pics to enlarge)

Perfect sincerity and transparency make a great part of beauty, as in dewdrops, lakes, and diamonds.

from the Journal (June 20, 1840)

Say what you have to say, not what you ought. Any truth is better than make-believe.

from the "Conclusion" to Walden

In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too; to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line.

from the chapter "Economy" in Walden

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.

from the chapter "Where I Lived and What I Lived For" in Walden

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.

from the "Conclusion" to Walden

I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

from the "Conclusion" to Walden

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

from the "Conclusion" to Walden

I have a great deal of company in my house; especially in the morning, when nobody calls.

from the chapter "Solitude" in Walden

However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names.

from the "Conclusion" to Walden

I too had woven a kind of basket of a delicate texture, but I had not made it worth anyone's while to buy them. Yet not the less, in my case, did I think it worth my while to weave them, and instead of studying how to make it worth men's while to buy my baskets, I studied rather how to avoid the necessity of selling them.

from the chapter "Economy" in Walden


In the days before his death, his Aunt Louisa asked him if he had made his peace with God. His answer was

"I did not know we had ever quarrelled, Aunt."

from the Harding and Richardson biographies


DAVID said...

Hey Bob!

Good Morning ol' buddy! What great thoughts to start the day with. Appreciate your insights in the simplest of things - that for too many are overlooked. Hope you are doing well and look forward to hearing from you for an update on what's going on now when you have a chance. I don't know if many people understand the depth of thought or the truths that lie in the sayings of HDT. There are those who do, certainly. Letting go of things and recentering on what is really important, learning to live with less (things) and less responsibility (for those things), being free of the burdens of this world . . . words of freedom to the few who try to understand and live by it. Thanks for reminding me of those thoughts!

Blessings to you, my friend.


Suzy said...

Amen, both of you, Bob & Dave! There truly IS something SO perfect in Nature ... and its seasonal renewal ... every season and the change of each season is always such a gift, the gift of the present, the Now, and the momentary observations to savor and treasure, be it water droplets on a leaf ... or the little garden slug that somehow was on the side of my brick wall this morning (I gently put him back in the cool damp grass) ... or whatever!

I LOVED studying Thoreau in college, and I LOVE having taken time to re-read "Walden" several more times in the many years since ... thinking now of pulling that book off the shelf AGAIN this weekend, and perhaps heading for a favorite wooded hiking destination!! :)

Suzy :)

Anonymous said...

(i left this as "anonymous" because i can never remember my google password! lol!)
LOVE this post! my screen name used to be "dfrntdrummer" because i love the HDT quote about hearing a different drummer! love the leaf pics too - it's been a crummy day for me and the "gloomy" weather hasn't helped - sure wish i'd bothered to read your blog this morning - sure would have put things in a different perspective for me - i owe you a long, newsy email - i promise i'll get to it soon - but only if you promise the same :-)

hugs, jenn

Bob Child said...

Thanks, friends...good to hear from all y'all! Thoreau is simply good for the soul and world, but all don't easily 'hear' what he says. Jenn, I will gladly write, so bring it! Was hoping you might have some good news per your husband coming back from Iraq! I'm all ears...