August 30, 1851

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in Thoreau’s Journal:  

That thus all Norway cinquefoils in the world had curled back their calyx leaves, their warm cloaks, when now their flowering season was past, over their progeny, from the time they were created! Nature ordered this bending back of the calyx leaves, and every year since this plant was created her order has been faithfully obeyed, and this plant acts not an obscure, but essential part in the revolution of the seasons.  I am not ashamed to be contemporary with the Norway cinquefoil. May I perform my part as well!  There is so much done toward closing up the year’s accounts. It is as good as if I saw the great globe go round. It is as if I saw the Janus doors of the year closing. The fall of each humblest flower marks the annual period of some phase of human life, experience. I can be said to note the flower’s fall only when I see in it the symbol of my own change. When I experience this, then the flower appears to me.

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