We Went… Maybe not the Woods

2020: the year we acted like we lived in the depression. Staying close to home. Baking sourdough bread. We grew plants from starts and seeds

I got to know my neighborhood. I watched spring come with rains. I saw the baking summer sun crisp the grass.

About the time the neighbors started talking about birdcalls, I knew we had travelled even further back in time.

I picked up Walden.

My friends and I are looking to find the silver lining in the quarantine.

What is really important? Are these material things really what we want? COVID made me think about death and therefore how precious life is.  Walden does the same. What is really most important?

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately”

Yes. If I am holing up to protect life, what am I protecting?  What kind of life is a lonely solitude? Before I pout too hard about my situation, Thoreau puts the challenge out there. He lays it out: take the time to notice the beauty around you!

He went to the woods because he “wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.”

Even in the shutdown, there is marrow to suck. There are skies and plants to observe, simple skills to practice and alternate paths to try.

There is richness in the things I have passed over. The sun in the sky is a marvel. I have learned to observe it in ways I never have before.

Big cities—New York, San Francisco—they are hollowing out. People are taking their lessons from the lockdown and moving house. Sacramento and Salt Lake City are filling up with new neighbors. Now that people can choose, can do their work from their homes, they are changing the homes.

Thoreau and his Transcendental buddies. were quite thrilled with finding new classics, and making up their own minds

“Let the reports of all the learned societies come to us and we will see if they know anything”

Sounds like the internet to me. I want to know all the things the world has to offer, and I delight in new ideas. I love to be the one to make up my own mind about their value. I don’t have to live by the expected wisdom. This is a time to explore and make up my own mind. The whole world awaits.

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