January 2, 1858

in Thoreau’s Journal:


Going up the hill thro’ Stow’s young oak wood-land—I listen to the sharp dry rustle of the withered oak leaves— This is the voice of the wood now. It would be comparatively still & more dreary here in other respects if if were not for these leaves that hold on— It sounds like the roar of the seas—& is enlivening & inspiriting like that—suggesting how all the land is sea coast to the aerial ocean— It is the sound of the surf—the surf of an unseen Ocean billow of air breaking in the forest—like water on itself or on sand & rocks—  It rises & falls—sweeps & dies away—with agreeable alternation as the sea-surf does. Perhaps the the landsman can foretell a storm by it. It is remarkable how universal these grand murmurs are—these backgrounds of sound—the surf—the wind in the forest—water falls—&c which yet to the ear & in their origins are essentially one voice—the Earth voice—