March 18, 1858

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Each new year is a surprise to us. We find we had virtually forgotten the note of each bird, and when we hear it again, it is remembered like a dream, reminding us of a previous state of existence.  How happens it that the associations it awakens are always pleasing, never saddening, reminiscences of our sanest hours. The voice of nature is always encouraging.

When I get two thirds up the hill, I look round, and am for the hundredth time surprised by the landscape of the river valley and the horizon with its distant blue-scalloped rim…The wind blows strong but warm from west by north (so that I have to hold my paper tight while I write this), making the copses creak and roar, but the sharp tinkle of a song-sparrow is heard through it all.

But, ah! the needles of the pine, how they shine…Every third tree is lit with the most subdued but clear, ethereal light, as if it were the most delicate frost-work in a winter morning, reflecting no heat, but only light. And as they rock and wave in the strong wind, even a mile off, the light courses up and down them as over a field of grain…At sight of this my spirit is like a lit tree.