December 13

1851 in Thoreau’s Journal:

Walk early through the woods to Lincoln to survey. Winter weather may be said to have begun yesterday. Why have I ever omitted early rising and a morning walk?

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1852 in Thoreau’s Journal:

While surveying today saw much Mt Laurel for this neighborhood in Mason’s pasture—just over the line in Carlisle.  Its bright yellowish green shoots are agreeable to my eye. We had one hour of almost Indian summer weather in the middle of the day. I felt the influence of the sun— It melted my stoniness a little. The pines looked like old friends again. Cutting a path through a swamp where was much brittle dogwood &c &c I wanted to know the name of every shrub. This varied employment to which my necessities compel me serves instead of foreign travel & the lapse of time— If it makes me forget somethings which I ought to remember, it no doubt enables me to forget many things which it is well to forget. By stepping aside from my chosen path so often I see myself better and am enabled to criticize myself. Of this nature is the only true lapse of time. It seems an age since I took walks & wrote in my journal— And when shall I revisit the glimpses of the moon? To be able to see ourselves—not merely as others see us—but as we are—that service a variety of absorbing employments does us.

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