December 13, 1851

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Surveying today. We had one hour of most Indian-summer weather in the middle of the day. I felt the influence of the sun. It softened my stoniness a little. The pines looked like old friends again. Cutting a path through swamp where was much brittle dogwood, etc, I wanted to know the name of every bush. This varied employment to which my necessities compel me serves instead of foreign travel and the lapse of time. If it makes me forget some things which I ought to remember, it no doubt makes me forget many things which I ought to forget. By stepping aside from my chosen path so often, I see myself better, and am enabled to criticize myself better. It seems an age since I took walks and wrote in my journal, and when shall I revisit the glimpses of the moon? To be able to see ourselves, not merely as others see us, but as we are, that service a variety of absorbing employments does us. (italics, mine)

December 13, 2012:

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