July 11, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

What is called genius is the abundance of life or health, so that whatever addresses the senses, as the flavor of these berries, or the lowing of that cow, which sounds as if it echoed along a cool mountain-side just before night, where odiferous dews perfume the air and there is everlasting vigor, serenity, and expectation of perpetual untarnished morning — each sight and sound and scent and flavor — intoxicates with a healthy intoxication. The shrunken stream of life overflows its banks, makes and fertilizes broad intervals, from which generations derive their sustenances. This is the true overflowing of the Nile. So exquisitely sensitive are we, it makes us embrace our fates, and, instead of suffering or indifference, we enjoy and bless.

July 10, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

We turn aside near the old Lee place— The rye-fields are now quite yellow & ready for the sickle. Already there are many flavous colors in the landscape—much maturity of small seeds.

The nodding heads of the rye make an agreeable maze to the eye.

July 9, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

“The flower opens, and lo! another year.” [ancient Chinese saying]

There is something sublime in the fact that some of the oldest written sentences should thus celebrate the coming in of spring. How many times have the flowers opened and a new year begun! Hardly a more cheering sentence could have come down to us. How old is spring, a phenomenon still so fresh! Do we perceive any decay in Nature? How much evidence is contained in this short and simple sentence respecting the former inhabitants of this globe! It is a sentence to be inscribed on vessels of porcelain, suggesting that so many years had gone before, in observation as fit then as now

July 8, 1838

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The loudest sound that burdens here the breeze

Is the wood’s whisper; ’t is, when we choose to list

Audible sound, and when we list not,

It is calm profound. Tongues were provided

But to vex the ear with superficial thoughts. 

When deeper thoughts upswell, the jarring discord 

Of harsh speech is hushed, and senses seem

As little as may be to share the ecstasy.

July 7, 1851

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Now that there is an interregnum in the blossoming of the flowers, so is there in the singing of the birds….With a certain wariness, but not without a slight shudder at the danger oftentimes, I perceive how near I had come to admitting into my mind the details of some trivial affair, as a case at court, and I am astonished to observe how willing men are to lumber their minds with such rubbish, to permit idle rumors, tales, incidents, even of an insignificant kind, to intrude upon what should be the sacred ground of the thoughts…

It is so hard to forget what is less than useless to remember.

July 6, 1840

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Have no mean hours, but be grateful for every hour, and accept what it brings. The reality will make any sincere record respectable. No day will have been wholly misspent, if one sincere, thoughtful page has been written.

Let the daily tide leave some deposit on these pages, as it leaves sand and shells on the shore. So much increase of terra firma. This may be a calendar of the ebbs and flows of the soul; and on these sheets as a beach, the waves may cast up pearls and seaweed.

July 5, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The progress of the season is indescribable…Perhaps the sound of the locust expresses the season as well as anything.  The farmers say the abundance of the grass depends on wet in June.  I might make a separate season of those days when the locust is heard.  That is our torrid zone.

July 3, 1840

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The last sunrise I witnessed seems to outshine the splendor of all preceding ones, and I was convinced that it behoved man to dawn as freshly, and with equal promise and steadiness advance into the career of life, with as lofty and serene a countenance to move onward through his midday to a yet fairer and more promising setting….We will have a dawn––and noon––and serene sunset in ourselves.