September 19, 1854

in Thoreau’s Journal:

I have given myself up to nature– I have tried so many Springs & summers & autumns and winters as if I had nothing else to do but to live them–& imbibe whatever nutriment they had for me– I have spent a couple of years, for instance, with the flowers chiefly, having none other so binding engagement as to observe when they opened– I could have afforded to spend a Whole fall observing the changing tints of the foliage.

Ah how I have thriven on solitude & poverty– I cannot overstate this advantage. I do not see how I could have enjoyed it–if the public had been expecting as much of me as there is danger now that they will– If I go abroad lecturing how shall I ever recover the lost winter? It has been my vacation–my season of growth & expansion–a prolonged youth–