On this first day of autumn (in this part of the globe) maybe it’s a good time to take a walk in the woods.
“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. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is too dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartanlike as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.” Henry David Thoreau (from Walden)
I first heard this favorite quote years ago watching the movie “Dead Poets Society” in the theater. I tried writing it out in my notebook (in the dark not an easy thing to do.) Locating Walden in the library afterwards I took down Thoreau’s words and placed them in my mind and heart.
When I was younger it seemed like a good maxim, carpe diem and all that. To seize each day as it comes, making the most of each day, hour, and minute even.
Sometimes that’s not easy to do when life is hard and mean. When troubles gather around us, weighing down our hearts and lives with heavy burdens.
Taking a page from Thoreau’s book: taking a walk in the woods can help our perspective, especially in autumn when glorious leaves glisten around us. Bright colors pop as trees transition from healthy green to the barrenness of winter to come. Kind of crazy, that leaves pop with color as they die. Don’t mean to be morbid, but isn’t that a challenge?
To pop with color, to appreciate what’s good around us even when tough stuff abounds?
To live in this moment, deeply, to choose to corner the sublime vs. the mean stuff?
On this first day of autumn, take a walk in the woods and take a few deep breaths.
Breathe deeply, breathe deliberately.
Carpe diem – seize this day!
Virginia : )
p.s. If you haven’t seen “Dead Poets Society,” it’s a long-time inspirational favorite of mine. When it came out in 1989 I saw it four times in the movie theater – a rare occurrence for this redhead to see something four times in the theater (that happened once again when Tim Burton’s “Nightmare Before Christmas” came out) but it was (and is) so impactful, even watching the DVD again today, many years later.