December 29, 1841

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Whole weeks or months of my summer life slide away in thin volumes like mist or smoke—till at length some warm morning perchance I see a sheet of mist blow down the brook to the swamp—its shadow flitting across the fields which have caught a new significance from that accident.  And as that vapor is raised above the earth so shall the next weeks be elevated above the plane of the actual— Or when the setting sun slants across the pastures—and the cows low to my inward ear—and only enhance the stillness—and the eve is as the dawn—a beginning hour and not a final one—as if it would never have done—  With its clear western amber inciting men to lives of as limpid purity— Then do other parts of my days work shine than I had thought at noon—for I discover the real purport of my toil—As when the husbandman has reached the end of the furrow and looks back—he can best tell where the pressed earth shines most. 


All true greatness runs as level as course and is as unaspiring as the plough in the furrow—  ….There is no wisdom which can take place of humanity….I can recall to my mind the stillest summer hour—in which the grasshopper sings over the mulleins—and there is a valor in that time the memory of which is armor that can laugh at any blow of fortunes. And man should go out nature with the chirp of the cricket, or the trill of the veery ringing in his ear. These earthly sounds should only die away for a season.