Friday, May 25, 2007

Book passage / Stillmeadow Sampler

At this season of the year, I think often of Thoreau living his solitary life in the hut by Walden Pond. I too, in spring, feel impatient with the busyness of life. Thoreau knew what he was about. "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

Sometimes I think we rush so, we finish a schedule only to make a newer and busier one. We do not, ever, live deliberately and fully, for we haven't time. I know few people who go outdoors now and sit quietly for a couple of hours just looking at the miracle of spring. Sometimes as we drive along the country roads, I see occasional figures stretched out in lawn chairs. But they aren't observing May, they are reading the newspaper or a magazine. They are like the people I have seen on the great beach at Nauset on Cape Cod who never hear the music of the tide because they have portable radios playing hot music!

I hate to think what Thoreau would have said to that!

Perhaps the color of May is pink and violet. The apple blossom buds are pink, and some of our trees bear true pink bloom. The violets cover the ground and invade the lawn so that it is hard not to step on them.

Gladys Taber, Stillmeadow Sampler, 1959


  1. Thank you for this reminder. I don't think I ever just sit and BE.

  2. And she wrote this so long ago. Wouldn't you think we'd all learn. I'm going out right now and sit in the sun and watch what is going on around me. :<)

  3. Thank you for reminding me to just go out into the garden and sit for a bit! I wonder if Thoreau would mind if I knitted a bit while I sat and listened and watched?

  4. I really dislike hearing radios playing outside. It's so intrusive. But I have to admit that I don't often sit and stare - I usually have a book at hand, although since I've had more time (I've left work) I have sat for a while in the garden. I must do it more often.

  5. Peg, he would only mind if I did because I wouldn't be able to think of anything else. :<) I had to give it up. My mind and hands just don't work well together.

    Books Please, I don't like it either, though I did at 17. :<)

    Thanks to you all for coming by.

  6. This is why I love where I live. We sit on our front porch and just sit. And listen. And watch the world. We walk through our neighborhod to get both exercise and enjoy the beautiful yards and parkland. We just returned from a walk in which we heard a red-winged black bird and cardinals singing in the trees. We saw gorgeous wild poppies and bachelor buttons along a creekbed. We felt the cool breeze on our faces. We didn't fill each and every moment with chatter, but listened to the sounds of nature.


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