“From dust you came, to dust you shall return.” Some of us heard that about six weeks ago while getting smudgy black crosses smeared on our foreheads.
And this Thoreau quote follows similar lines, connecting us closer to nature and possibly even the Divine. Maybe we are so drawn to the outdoors because we sort of came from it, and it’s part of us.
According to morning-earth.org, “Thoreau spent a large part of each day observing the plants and animals of near Concord [where he famously built and lived in a simple cabin]. He walked the woods and countryside for at least twelve miles a day, came home and wrote in his Journals.”
A vegetarian who didn’t smoke or drink, Thoreau was set on preserving wilderness and protecting wild animals. He talked to the things he encounter in the woods and studied them closely, hoping to make their “acquaintance”.
“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves,” he once said.
Maybe, like Thoreau, we feel more connected to our truest selves when we are coated in dirt, breathing in dust, and walking over rocks because we are one of nature’s moving parts. Maybe we desire getting deeper into the wild and getting to know nature better because we are actually, almost biologically connected.
“Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself?” —Henry David Thoreau
What do you think?