March 21, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

It is a genial and reassuring day; the mere warmth of the west wind amounts almost to balminess. The softness of the air mollifies our own dry and congealed substance. I sit down by a wall to see if I can muse again. We become, as it were, pliant and ductile again to strange but memorable influences; we are led a little way by our genius. We are affected like the earth, and yield to the elemental tenderness. Winter breaks up within us. The frost is coming out of me, and I am heaved like the road. Accumulated masses of ice and snow dissolve, and thoughts like a freshet, pour down unwonted channels. A strain of music comes to solace the traveler over earth’s downs and dignify his chagrins. The petty men whom he meets are shadows of grander to come. Roads lead else-wither than to Carlisle and Sudbury. The earth is uninhabited, but fair to inhabit, like the old Carlisle road. Is, then, the road so rough that it should be neglected? Not only narrow, but rough, is the way that leads to life everlasting. Our experience does not wear upon us. It is seen to be fabulous or symbolical, and the future is worth expecting. Encouraged, I set out once more to climb the mountain of the earth, for my steps are symbolical.