On This Day: Thoreau Was Born & We Are Calm.

Via on Jul 12, 2012
Park 2
Photo by Karen_O’D, Flickr

Another day in the park

You’d think it was the Fourth of July

People dancing, really smiling

A man playing guitar

Singing for us all

Will you help him change the world

Can you dig it (yes, I can)

And I’ve been waiting such a long time

For today….

~Chicago. (Yeah, you remember that one.)

Does summer put us in a can-do place? Or does the heat loosen our skirts and our mental carriage? Does summertime make us wanna change the world or are we lovin’ the place we’re in right now?

I think we might be somewhere in the watery, sandy, flexible middle. Yeah, that’s the spot…

It’s a remarkably fluid scale to slip from a place of active inertia to a slow acceptance of life-as-it-is. When times are good we can lessen our grip on productivity, advocacy, vocalization. We can lighten the load and allow our gratitude and pause to pass as good-deed-deal-making. In our place of dusty calm new ideas may emerge…they may not. Is dusty calm itself an idea? Is a state of relaxed pandering a nursery for something imaginative? Is, perhaps, an egg of future greatness incubating in the heat of bikini lines, hikes-to-the-top and windows-rolled-down?

Accept permission, Ladies and Gentleman, to take off your shoes.

Remove your fingers from the keys (yes, even that pinkie hovering over “A”). Throw a baguette and bottle of rosĂ© in your bike basket. Even this: do that jack-knife dive that looses your swim trunks. Aw, it’s all good.

Your best ideas are waiting to hatch, so don’t look upon this season as lazy. Don’t translate the space between your breaths as lost time. Don’t panhandle for big vacations and somethings-to-do. Feel it out and wait, genius.

Today is Henry David’s birthday, Mr. Thoreau to all of us who wish to live deliberately.

Remember, this is the gentleman who released a modern agenda in order to “saunter” in the woods. Saunter! What a feeling. Can we reserve a wedge of time to saunter in natural spaces or among smiling folk? From HDT:

This world is a place of business. What an infinite bustle! I am awakened almost every night by the panting of the locomotive. It interrupts my dreams. There is no sabbath.

It would be glorious to see mankind at leisure for once. It is nothing but work, work, work.

I cannot easily buy a blank-book to write thoughts in; they are commonly ruled for dollars and cents. An Irishman, seeing me making a minute in the fields, took it for granted that I was calculating my wages. If a man was tossed out of a window when an infant, and so made a cripple for life, or scared out of his wits by the Indians, it is regretted chiefly because he was thus incapacitated for–business!

I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself, than this incessant business.

Right so. Take a break in the warm winds. Come back in September with a stunning idea.

I can’t resist…a little more inspiration to fling us somewhere afar and bristly green:

Ten Days in the Wild. Alone & Fasting.

When I’m Walking Under the Stars & Floating Down a River, I am Free (and you can have it too).

Thoreau, the Woods, & a Cure for Modern Life.

~I invite you to like elephant green on Facebook.~

 

About Jill Barth

Jill Barth, elephant journal green team leader, lives in Illinois with her husband and kids. She reminds you to breathe. Jill's writing can be found on her blog, Small Things Honored.

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3 Responses to “On This Day: Thoreau Was Born & We Are Calm.”

  1. Great article, Jill. Just posted to elephant main facebook page.

    Bob

  2. [...] get busy and speedy and wonder where the day went, the week went, the month went. Take Thoreau’s advice: don’t coast through it; be [...]

  3. [...] Thoreau’s Birthday (and getting calm). [...]

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