February 6, 1841

in Thoreau’s Journal:

When I select one here and another there, and strive to join sundered thoughts, I make but a partial heap after all— Nature strews her nuts and flowers broadcast, and never collects them into heaps— A man does not tell us all he has thought upon truth or beauty at a sitting—but from his last thought on the subject wanders through a varied scenery of upland meadow and woodland to his next— Sometimes a single and casual thought rises naturally and inevitably with a queenly majesty and escort  like the stars in the east. Fate has surely enshrined it in this hour and circumstances for some purpose— What she has joined together, let not man put asunder.—  Shall I transplant the primrose by the river’s brim—to set it beside its sister on the mountain? This was the soil it grew in—this the hour it bloomed in—if sun, wind, and rain came here to cherish and expand it–shall not we come here to pluck it? — Shall we require it to grow in a conservatory for our convenience?

I feel slightly complimented when nature condescends to make use of me without my knowledge—as when I help scatter her seeds in my walk—or carry burs and cockles on my clothes from field to field— I feel as though I had done something for the commonweal, and were entitled to board and lodging.— I take such airs upon me as the boy who holds a horse for the circus company—whom all the spectators envy