December 28, 1840


in Thoreau’s Journal:  

The snow hangs on the trees as the fruit of the season.  In those twigs which the wind has preserved naked, there is a warmer green for the contrast. The whole tree exhibits a kind of interior and household comfort—a sheltered and covert aspect— It has the snug inviting look of a cottage on the Moors, buried in snows.

How like your house are the woods, your voice rings hollowly through them as through a chamber— The twigs crackle under feet with private and household echoes. All sound in the woods in private and domestic still, though never so loud.

I have observed of a clear winters morning that the woods have their southern window as well as the house, through which the first beams of the sun stream along their aisles and corridors. The sun goes up swiftly behind the limbs of the white pine, as the sashes of a window.

The sun reflected from the red leaves of the shrub oak on the hill side—and the green pine needles, is as warm as a cottage fire. It has the ancient principle of heat in it—a gentle simmering to eternity.  There is a Slumbering fire, an infinite eternal warmth in nature which never goes out, and no cold can chill. It melts the great snow.