Monday, September 27, 2010

our own limits transgressed

We need the tonic of wildness, 
to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow hen lurk, 
and hear the booming of the snipe; 
to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder 
and more solitary fowl builds her nest, 
and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground.  

At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, 
we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, 
that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed 
by us because it is unfathomable. 

We can never have enough of nature.  
We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, 
vast and titanic features, the seacoast with its wrecks, 
the wilderness with its living and its decaying trees, 
the thunder cloud, and the rain which lasts three weeks and produces freshets.

We need to witness our own limits transgressed, 
and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.

~ Thoreau
from Walden, "Spring," 1854
photo above by Kathleen Connally