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Posts Tagged ‘henry david thoreau’

Yesterday, while en route to Concord, a large black bull caught my eye…he was just one of the many cows and bulls grazing (or reclining!) in the warm afternoon sun…what a picturesque sight to behold!

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“At evening, the distant lowing of some cow in the horizon beyond the woods sounded sweet and melodious, and at first I would mistake it for the voices of certain minstrels by whom I was sometimes serenaded, who might be straying over hill and dale; but soon I was not unpleasantly disappointed when it was prolonged into the cheap and natural music of the cow. I do not mean to be satirical, but to express my appreciation of those youths’ singing, when I state that I perceived clearly that it was akin to the music of the cow, and they were at length one articulation of Nature.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, excerpt from Walden, chapter four titled Sounds

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photography by danielle boudrot for a thoughtful eye

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For a few mornings now, I’ve been serenaded by the sweet sound of baby Robins…their masterful nest sits just outside my bedroom window, atop a sturdy old branch in the Magnolia tree…what a priceless gift to be given! This miraculous event has inspired me to re-read the one and only Walden by Henry David Thoreau…as I slowly savor his words, filled with infinite wisdom and unparalleled insights, I find myself sharing my new found discovery with him…a timeless companion if you will, elevating my experience with his ever-present eyes and ears…

It is with his voice in the forefront of my mind that I’d like to share with you one of my favorite excerpts from Walden…it’s quite possibly the most profound description of spring cleaning and outdoor living I’ve ever come across! Wishing you a wonderful spring weekend!

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“Housework was a pleasant pastime. When my floor was dirty, I rose early, and, setting all my furniture out of doors on the grass, bed and bedstead making but one budget, dashed water on the floor, and sprinkled white sand from the pond on it, and then with a broom scrubbed it clean and white; and by the time the villagers had broken their fast the morning sun had dried my house sufficiently to allow me to move in again, and my meditations were almost uninterrupted. It was pleasant to see my whole household effects out on the grass, making a little pile like a gypsy’s pack, and my three-legged table, from which I did not remove the books and pen and ink, standing amid the pines and hickories. They seemed glad to get out themselves, and as if unwilling to be brought in. I was sometimes tempted to stretch an awning over them and take my seat there. It was worth the while to see the sun shine on these things, and hear the free wind blow on them; so much more interesting most familiar objects look out of doors than in the house. A bird sits on the next bough, life-everlasting grows under the table, and the blackberry vines run round its legs; pine cones, chestnut burs, and strawberry leaves are strewn about. It looked as if this was the way these forms came to be transferred to our furniture, to tables, chairs and bedsteads, – because they once stood in their midst.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, excerpt from Walden

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Top ~ In the Woods by Paul Cezanne, 1900

Bottom ~ In the Woods by Paul Cezanne, 1898

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Henry David Thoreau

1855

April 15, 9 A.M. – To Atkin’s boat-house.

No sun till setting. Another still, moist, overcast day, without sun, but all day a crescent of light, as if breaking away in the north. The waters smooth and full of reflections. A still cloudy day like this is perhaps the best to be on the water. To the clouds, perhaps, we owe both the stillness and the reflections, for the light is in great measure reflected from the water. Robins sing now at 10 A.M. as in the morning, and the phoebe; and pigeon woodpecker’s cackle is heard, and many martins (with white-bellied swallows) are skimming and twittering above the water, perhaps catching the small fuzzy gnats with which the air is filled. The sounds of church bells, at various distances, in Concord and the neighboring towns, sounds very sweet to us on the water this still day. It is the song of the villages heard with the song of the birds.

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Three Trees in Spring ~ Claude Monet, 1891

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Spring ~ Pablo Picasso, 1956

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The Cascade in Spring ~ John Henry Twachtman, 1890-1899

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Pasture in Bloom ~ Vincent van Gogh, 1887

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The first flowers ~ Paul Gauguin, 1888

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“Cool” Series No. 80, Impatient Spring ~ Perle Fine, 1963

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Spring at Catou ~ Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1872-1873

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Melikhovo at spring ~ Isaac Levitan

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Dark and Deep ~ Wolf Kahn

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Trees by the Water ~ Paul Cezanne, 1900

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Lake, Spring ~ Isaac Levitan, 1898

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