March 19, 1859

in Thoreau’s Journal:

We are interested in the phenomena of nature mainly as children are, or as we are in games of chance. They are more or less exciting. Our appetite for novelty is insatiable. We do not attend to ordinary things, though they are most important, but to extraordinary ones.


While it is only moderately hot or cold, or wet or dry, nobody attends to it, but when nature goes to an extreme in any of these directions we are all on the alert with excitement….this is a perfectly legitimate amusement only we should know that each day is peculiar and has its kindred excitements.