December 10, 1840


in Thoreau’s Journal:

I discover a strange track in the snow, and learn that some migrating otter has made across from the river to the wood, by my yard and the smith’s shop, in the silence of the night. I cannot but smile at my own wealth when I am thus reminded that every chink and cranny of nature is full to overflowing. Such an incident as this startles me with the assurance that the primeval nature is still working, and makes tracks in the snow. It is my own fault that he must thus skulk across my premises by night. Now I yearn toward him, and heaven to me consists in a complete communion with the otter nature. He travels a more wooded path by watercourses and hedgerows, I by the highways, but though his tracks are now crosswise to mine, our courses are not divergent, but we shall meet at last.