On the journey to harmony–Thoreau, the Sound Map and opening up the inner eye

I recently tried a couple of the exercises in Corinne Hosfeld Smith's book, Henry David Thoreau for Kids--"Record Wild Animal Behavior" and "Draw a Sound Map." It was a wonderful time outdoors and I was surprised how much I heard! Here's my Sound Map: I wrote more about this on my other blog (Be as …

Book Review: Henry David Thoreau for Kids: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities by Corinne Hosfeld Smith

Henry David Thoreau for Kids is geared towards children ages nine and up but I am going to review this book as one for adults as well. Abridged version of Thoreau Cutting right to the chase—I loved this book. As a perpetual student of Louisa May Alcott and as someone who appreciates nature, I have …

Channeling a little Thoreau, a little John Denver while gardening

Memorial Day weekend means getting all our gardens into shape.  I've got more of a black thumb than green (meaning I've killed the vast majority of things I've planted :-)) but there are some plants I can keep alive! I decided to rely on the tried and true this year so that my gardens will …

Torn between two lovers

So what's a girl to do? Louisa May Alcott is my passion but so are spring birds! Two weeks out of the year, the spring migrants come through my area. I am fortunate to live in what's known as a "fly zone" where all sorts of colorful birds with lovely songs spend a few days …

A last journey on the Sylvia Yule before the winter comes

I had the very rare opportunity yesterday of actually having 2 hours of free time lining up with beautifully warm weather in the middle of October! I jumped on it. 🙂 I grabbed the Sylvia Yule and went down to the local boat launch to take a final kayak trip before the cold weather settles …

Children’s story suggests Louisa’s inspiration for her first poem (and inspires a little song)

Remember Louisa May Alcott's first poem, written when she was 8? To the First Robin Welcome, welcome little stranger, Fear no harm, and fear no danger, We are glad to see you here, For you sing, "Sweet Spring is near." Now the white snow melts away; Now the flowers blossom gay; Come dear bird and …

A clear introduction to Transcendentalism . . .

. . . and in only about 500 words! This is from the Spiritual Travels blog: The Hippies of Nineteenth-Century America Posted on August 19, 2011 by lori Spending time with Bronson Alcott yesterday made me realize that before moving forward we need to get a bit clearer on what that ten-dollar word “Transcendentalism” means. Spoiler alert: abstract …

Thoreau and mysticism – Nature as a highway to the Divine

I've just started reading a thick volume on contemplative prayer (Fire Within by Thomas Dubay, SM), based upon the writings of two giants in this area, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross. Both were Carmelites,  and both hailed from Spain. Many Spanish scholars believe that St. John is the greatest poet …

Was Thoreau a romantic? Final thoughts on “Walking”

Much has been said about how unconventional Henry David Thoreau was. Although brilliant he was solitary, decidedly different, very blunt, not especially attractive physically, and he was prone to "queer" habits such as climbing trees, imitating bird calls and the like. Yet women did find Thoreau attractive. Louisa May Alcott had a schoolgirl crush on …

Continuing “Walking” with Henry David Thoreau

Listening 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 opened up like a flower early in the morning, each truth displaying itself in the light of a new understanding. I feel akin to Thoreau and I …