“I’d like to spend some time with Thoreau this morning,” I thought. I didn’t have my copy of Walden with me. Nor was I in a particularly natural environment, so I’m not sure what prompted this thought. I was being whizzed down the highway at 65 miles an hour on the bus to work, with only the contents of my purse. This might be exactly why I wanted to hang out with Thoreau for a few minutes.
“You escaped into nature only a couple of miles from town, right?” I thought, in one of those conversations that I only dream of having with famous, dead people. “So no one will think that it’s silly that I want to find nature…here…right?” In my head, I gestured to my left and to my right, making reference to suburbia surrounding me. But all I imagined that Thoreau did was gaze at me pensively and then politely turn to walk away.
Bah! I’d have to settle for Googling him, then, if he wouldn’t talk to me in my imagination. I found quote upon famous quote that I’d read many times before: “In wildness is the preservation of the world” yada yada yada. “I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately” blah blah blah. I needed something fresh to speak to me.
And then I found it.
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
And I stopped.
I looked outside the bus windows as the world flew by. And noticed the trees. And the sun on my face. And I realized that I was spending a few minutes in nature with Thoreau.