May 29, 2016

On the seasons of Thoreau:

Ecclesiastes 3:1:  There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—


Thoreau in his Journal:

Spring 1850: The year has many seasons more than are recognized in the almanac.

June 11, 1851:  No one to my knowledge, has observed the minute differences in the seasons. Hardly two nights are alike. The rocks do not feel warm to-night, for the air is warmest; nor does the sand particularly. A book of the seasons, each page of which should be written out-of-doors, or in its own locality wherever it may be.

July 5, 1852:  The progress of the season is indescribable.

April 23, 1859:  There is a season for everything, and we do not notice a given phenomenon except at that season, if, indeed, it can be called the same phenomenon at any other season. There is a time to watch the ripples on Ripple Lake, to look for arrowheads, to study the rocks and lichens, a time to walk on sandy deserts; and the observer of nature must improve these seasons as much as the farmer his. So boys fly kites and play ball or hawkie at particular times all over the State. A wise man will know what game to play to-day, and play it. We must not be governed by rigid rules, as by the almanac, but let the season rule us. The moods and thoughts of man are revolving just as steadily and incessantly as nature’s. Nothing must be postponed.

September 13, 1852:  How earnestly and rapidly each creature, each flower, is fulfilling its part while its day lasts! Nature never lost a day, nor a moment. As the planet in its orbit and around its axis, so do the seasons, so does time, revolve, with a rapidity inconceivable.

October 25, 1857: These regular phenomena of the seasons get at last to be ––they were at first, of course  ––simply and plainly phenomena or phases of my life. The seasons and all their changes are in me. I see not a dead eel or floating snake, or a gull, but it rounds my life and is like a line or accent in its poem. Almost I believe the Concord would not rise and overflow its banks again, were I not here. After a while I learn what my moods and seasons are. I would have nothing subtracted. I can imagine nothing added. My moods are thus periodical, not two days in my year alike. The perfect correspondence of Nature to man, so that he is home in her!

November 17, 1858: Not only different objects are presented to our attention at different seasons of the year, but we are in a frame of body and mind to appreciate different objects at different seasons.

December 5, 1856:  I love best to have each thing in its season only, and enjoy doing without it at all other times. It is the greatest of all advantages to enjoy no advantage at all. I find it invariably true, the poorer I am, the richer I am.

 

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