July 21, 1851



in Thoreau’s Journal:

The forenoon is fuller of light. The butterflies on the flowers look like other & frequently larger flowers themselves. 


Now I yearn for one of those old meandering dry uninhabited roads which lead away from towns––which lead us away from temptation, which conduct to the outside of earth––over its uppermost crust––where you may forget in what country you are traveling––where no farmer can complain that you are treading down his grass––no gentlemen who has recently constructed a seat in the country that you are trespassing––on which you can go off at half cock––and waive adieu to the village––along which you may travel like a pilgrim––going nowither.


Where travelers are not too often to be met. Where my spirit is free––where the walls & fences are not cared for––where your head is more in heaven than your feet are on the earth––which have long reaches––where you can see the approaching traveller half a mile off and be prepared for him––not so luxuriant a soil as to attract men––some root and stump fences which do not need attention––  Where travelers have no occasion to stop––but pass along and leave you to your thoughts–– Where it makes no odds which way you face whether you are going or coming––whether it is morning or evening––mid noon or mid-night––


Where earth is cheap enough by being public. Where you can walk and think with least obstruction––there being nothing to measure progress by. Where you can pace when your breast is full and cherish your moodiness. Where you are not in false relations with men––are not dining nor conversing with them….


It must simply be the way and the life.