“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”-Henry David Thoreau
I’m not an early riser, but I like the idea of taking a morning constitutional. Not a plain old walk, mind you: a constitutional. Yes, yes…I know it means the same thing. The latter, however, sounds vigorous and lovely and a bit old-fashioned. As if it takes work, thought, planning. A clear head. For the last few weeks, I’ve been threatening to get up early (for me) and drag my husband to the cemetery down the street. A four-minute drive for an hour’s hike. After sunrise, but before the work day has dawned. It is such a tempting idea, in my head. On paper. The reality will likely find me achy and whiny and yawning for the first half an hour. Yet, yet… the destination is the above scene: vibrant, bright, wild. Serene. All in the shadow of the city. How long can I resist?
For some reason, I have been thinking a lot about the New England Transcendentalists. Maybe it is the image of Margaret Fuller that stares down at me from one of my inspiration boards. Whatever the cause, it is a fine subject to be preoccupied with on a lovely Spring day. In honor of today’s one-track thought process, I’ve collected an inspiring and eclectic group of NET-inspired goodies. Enjoy!
Title: Heaven is Under Our Feet A Book For Walden Woods
Edited By: Don Henley and Dave Marsh
Year Published: 1991 (Longmeadow Press)
Year Purchased: 1991
About: Heaven is Under Our Feet, a phrase taken from Thoreau, is a collection of environmentally conscious essays by leading writers, activists and assorted artists (including Jimmy Carter, James Earl Jones, James A. Michener, Sting, Kurt Vonnegut). Spearheaded by musician Don Henley, this book was part of The Walden Woods Project, a collective effort to save the non-protected parts of Thoreau’s stomping ground from developers. It remains an important contribution to, and meditation on, the environmental movement and why nature and our country’s wild places matter.
Motivation: As a school girl, I was obsessed with the very idea of this book. I was already a serious environmentalist (in that intense way particular only to teenagers). I loved Thoreau’s writing and had a humongous crush on Don Henley (don’t judge me, please!). So, in short: Environment + Thoreau + that guy from the Eagles=my hot pursuit of this volume.
Times Read: 2
Random Excerpt/Page 29: “When I first visited Walden as an adolescent more than thirty-five years ago-it was in 1955, or perhaps 1956-I was dismayed by what I saw. The place seemed forlorn, distinctly down at the heels, and not half as wild as I’d hoped it would be.”