“Walking” with Henry David Thoreau

I don’t care what anyone says: I believe that Henry David Thoreau was a romantic. True, he certainly preferred his solitude over the company of others (although he and his brother at one time loved a woman named Ellen, enough to want to marry her, and it’s rumored that Thoreau loved Lidian Emerson), but I believe he was a romantic in the way he felt about nature.

At least he swept me away yesterday (probably not unlike the way he swept away Louisa May Alcott). On the way to the gym for my workout, I listened to his essay entitled “Walking” which prompted me to skip the gym and take a walk over at the dog field at Tufts  Veterinary School. Thoreau made the outdoors sound so compelling that I couldn’t imagine shutting myself up in a gym when I could experience the glorious outdoors. After all, I prided myself on being a lover of nature, right?

Ah, you have to love audio books! I strapped on my iTouch and began listening to part 2 of “Walking” as I began my walk. Everything was lovely at first – tall green grass with birds diving to and fro, cool breezes, this was living! Until, I stumbled on the rough path and fell down, nearly spraining my ankle! The reading of “Walking” was blaring in my head as I massaged both feet (both of which give me pain most of the time anyway) and wondered if I would be able to continue, let alone get back to my car! Under my breath I found myself muttering, “Thanks a lot, Thoreau!”

I did manage to continue my walk, trying to get back in the spirit of what I was hearing. All went well until I got into the woodsy part of the trip and the mosquitoes had me in their cross hairs!  At one point there was a swarm around me and I wondered what  Thoreau must have used to keep the mosquitoes at bay.

I got back to the meadow and completed my walk just as the audio book finished. My little excellent adventure! :-)

I must admit though, I enjoyed the walk and would like to do it again, feet permitting!

I’m reading through the printout of “Walking” now so I can take a closer look and will write more when I finish it.

I still think he’s a romantic and I’ll tell you why soon . . .

 

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4 thoughts on ““Walking” with Henry David Thoreau

  1. Lisa says:

    I recently reviewed the new novel The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott. You can find the review here: http://hopewellmomschoolreborn.blogspot.com/2011/06/lost-opportunity-summer-than-should.html

  2. Jillian ♣ says:

    Love this!! I have a copy of his essay Walden and need to reread Civil Disobedience. I think I’m entering a different frame-of-mind, in which it will make more sense to me. I’m listening to Whitman’s Leaves of Grass on audio. I think it’s one you’d really like, if you haven’t read it yet?

    Love your blog, Susan — as ever. :-)

    • susanwbailey says:

      Thanks. I didn’t know Leaves of Grass was available on audio, will definitely have to look that up. In Kelly O’Connor McNees’ book, The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, Whitman’s Leaves of Grass plays a big part in the love story.

      I have attempted Walden and will try again; I also have a copy of Cape Cod which I think would make great summer reading. I really dig “Walking” and can’t wait to write more about it on the blog.

      And I know exactly what you mean about entering a different frame of mind . . . :-)

  3. […] to “Walking” while I walked (see previous post) only whetted my appetite to dig deeper into this amazing essay. The more I read, the more the text […]

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