Methinks, sauntering, about nature, is my new speed.... and that is good.
Thoreau talks of sauntering in nature as a spiritual crusade, seeing the "Holy Land". "We should go forth on the shortest walk, perchance, in the spirit of undying adventure , never to return - prepared to send back our embalmed heart only as relics of our desolate kingdoms. If you are ready to leave father and mother, and brother and sister, and wife and child and friends, and never see them again - if you have paid your debts, and made your will, and settled all your affairs, and are a free man - then you are ready for a walk.... a noble art...."
"Some of my townsmen, it is true, can remember and have described to me some walks which they took ten years ago, in which they were so blessed as to lose themselves for half an hour in the woods; but I know very well that they have confined themselves to the highway ever since."
Thoreau had a high, desirable, spiritual expectation of his frequent sauntering in nature, with little expectation of what was ahead, while seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting and feeling the sensual present. I love it.
"My vicinity affords many good walks" - Thoreau speaks of the "Old Marlborough Road", a discontinued road that most communities have two or three such pathways. Our Field Road is my Old Marlborough road, leading, perchance, southwest - sunsetting light seeking, across the field, by Johnny Brook, to Green Mountain foothills.
Late in the light, a short while ago, I found myself walking on a new path in the woods, a short distance off my Old Marlborough Road. I was sauntering on a new bike path, watching the sun penetrating the woods, wishing to capture a moment, with the light just right on a memorable site.
I lost myself in the woods - literally - it was soon after the sign for a new path alternative - The Grim Reaper. I blamed getting lost, on the fallen leaves and the newness of the path. I thought about Thoreau speaking of the safety of the America Woods, then I thought about the reports of Bobcats and Bears in The Green Mountains. I walked North East - opposite of the venture out in the woods. A while later, I saw a house. I moved to it, found friendliness and walked the roads two plus miles back to home base. Needless to say, I am not one with the wild - not just yet. I can say I got lost in the woods though. Thoreau would be proud of me, being kind, as he was.
"So we saunter toward the Holy Land, till one day the sun shall shine more brightly than ever he has done, shall perchance shine into our minds and hearts, and light up our whole lives with a great awakening light, as warm and serene and golden as on a bankside in autumn."
I wish to go to Walden Pond in Concord, MASS and hope I will wish to go again and again - to walk in the steps of Thoreau, and learn more, as have many before.