Walden, or Life in the Woods was published on this date in 1854.
The book presents the details of Henry David Thoreau’s experiences during his two years, two months, and two days in the wood near Walden Pond.
He built the cabin on property owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
He used his time there to write his first book, A Week on Concord and Merrimack Rivers.
His journey there was condensed into a one volume work chronicling his experiences. It is written in four seasons and symbolizes human development.
It is considered a classic.
Thoreau said this of his woodland experience…”I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.”
He came away from the experience a new man and left us with many, many wise sayings. And since I’ve taken to posting quotes on many Wednesdays, here is one I like…
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
I find as I “mature” that quote means more and more to me.
I often ask myself, “How many hours do I have to work to afford that…suit, dish, dinner out…whatever.”
I find often enough that the part of my life it takes is more valuable than the thing I desire.