March 7, 1852

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in Thoreau’s Journal:

Going through the high field beyond the lone grave-yard, I see the track of a boy’s sled before me, and his footsteps shining like silver between me and the moon; and now I come to where they have coasted in a hollow in the upland bean field, and there are countless tracks of sleds. I forget that the sun shone on them in their sport, as if I had reached the region of perpetual twilight, and their sports appear more significant and symbolical now, more earnest. For what a man does abroad by night requires and implies more deliberate energy than what he is encouraged to do in the sunshine.  He is more spiritual, less animal and vegetable, in the former case….This stillness is more impressive than any sound. The moon, the stars, the trees, the snow, the sand when bare, a monumental stillness whose void must be supplied by thought.