in Thoreau’s Journal:
This afternoon I throw off my outside coat. A mild spring day–– I must hie to the great Meadows. The air is full of blue-birds. The ground almost entirely bare. The villagers are out in the sun––and every man is happy whose work takes him out doors–– I go by sleepy Hollow toward the Great Fields–– I lean over a rail to hear what is in the air liquid with the blue-bird’s warble. My life partakes of infinity. The air is as deep as our natures. Is the drawing in of this vital air attended with no more glorious results than I witness? The air is a velvet cushion against which I press my ear–– I go forth to make new demands on life. I wish to begin this summer well––to do something in it worthy of it & of me–– To transcend my daily routine––& that of my townsmen to have my immortality now––that it be in the quality of my daily life. To pay the greatest price-the-greatest tax of any man in Concord––& enjoy the most!! I will give all I am for my nobility. I will pay all my days for my success. I pray that the life of this spring & summer may ever lie fair in my memory. May I dare as I have never done.–– May my melody not be wanting to the season….It is reasonable that a man should be something worthier at the end of the year than he was at the beginning….We go out without our coats saunter along the streets look at the aments of the willow beginning to appear & the swelling buds of the maple & the elm.