December 11, 1855

 in Thoreau’s Journal:

It is only necessary to behold the least fact or phenomenon, however, familiar, from a point a hair’s breadth aside from our habitual path or routine, to be overcome, enchanted by its beauty and significance. Only what we have touched and worn is trivial, our scurf, repetition, tradition, conformity.


To percieve freshly, with fresh senses, is to be inspired….The age of miracles is each moment returned; now it is wild apples, now river reflections…

December 10, 1856

in Thoreau’s Journal:

It is remarkable how suggestive the slightest drawing is as memento of things seen. For a few years past I have been accustomed to make a rude sketch in my journal, of plants, ice, and various natural phenomena, and though the fullest accompanying description may fail to recall my experience, these rude outline drawings do not fail to carry me back to that time and scene.


It is as if I saw the same things again, and I may again attempt to describe it in words if I choose.


December 9, 1856

 in Thoreau’s Journal:

A bewitching stillness reigns through all the woodland, and over all the snow-clad landscape.


Indeed, the winter day in the woods or fields has commonly the stillness of twilight. The pond is perfectly smooth and full of light.

December 8, 1850

 in Thoreau’s Journal:

It snowed in the night of the 6th, and the ground is now covered; our first snow, two inches deep…The remote pastures and hills beyond the woods are now closed to cows and cowherds, aye, and to cowards.


I am struck by this sudden solitude and remoteness which these places have acquired. The dear privacy and retirement and solitude which winter makes possible, carpeting the earth with snow, furnishing more than woolen feet to all walkers!

December 6, 1856

in Thoreau’s Journal:

On all sides in swamps and about their edges, and in the woods, the bare shrubs are sprinkled with buds more or less noticeable and pretty, their little gemmae or gems their most vital and attractive parts now, almost all the greenness and color left, greens and salads for the birds and rabbits. Our eyes go searching along the stem for what is most vivacious and characteristic, the concentrated summer gone into winter quarters.


For we are hunters pursuing the summer on snow-shoes and skates all winter long, and there is really but one season in our hearts.

December 4, 1840

 in Thoreau’s Journal:

Methinks I have experienced a joy sometimes like that which yonder tree for so long has budded and blossomed—and reflected the green rays.

The opposite shore of the pond seen through the haze of a September afternoon, as it lies stretched out in grey content, answers to some streak in me.


December 3, 3016

I love to look aslant up the tree tops from some dell, and finally rest myself in the blueish mistiness of the white pines.


December 2, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Returning, the water is smoother and more beautiful than before. The ripples we make produce ribbed reflections or shadows….

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all the water behind us, as we row, and even on the right and left at a distance, is perfectly unruffled…The reflections after sunset were distinct and glorious, the heaven into which we unceasingly rowed.