in Thoreau’s Journal:
I think I may say that the snow has not been less than a foot deep on a level in open land until to-day, since January 6th, about eleven weeks. I am reassured and reminded that I am the heir of eternal inheritances which are inalienable, when I feel the warmth reflected from this sunny bank, and see the yellow sand and reddish sub soil, and hear some dried leaves rustle and the trickling of some melting snow in some sluiceway.
The eternity which I detect in nature I predicate of myself also. How many springs I have had this same experience! I am encouraged, for I recognize this steady persistency and recovery of nature as a quality of myself.
March 23, 1852
As I cannot go upon a Northwest Passage, then I will find a passage round the actual world where I am. Connect the Behring Straits and Lancaster Sounds of thought; winter on Melville Island, and make a chart of Banks Land; explore the northward-trending Wellington Inlet, where there is said to be a perpetual open sea, cutting my way through floes of ice.