Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Just Call me Henry Today - Henry David Thoreau that is

I must say that oddly I am enjoying my son's BSA merit badge college homework. He is taking Environmental Science and must stake out a 4 yard x 4 yard spot to watch over time. Actually, he has steaked out two: One is just in our backyard, but the other is a bit away in a patch of wetland. He is a little spooked by the many noises in the forest so he has asked me to sit with him. So for 20 minutes a day, we have been going out and sitting in the wilderness. While his homework may soon be over, I'm thinking that perhaps this is good homework for all of us on a daily basis. There are no phones in the woods, no computers, no chores . . .just silence (ok, not silence - - -we heard woodpeckers, crows, squirels, branches falling), but quiet. The beauty made me think back to Walden Pond and the lessons of Henry David Thoreau . . .

In wildness is the preservation of the world.

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.

Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things.

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