It was Thoreau’s birthday yesterday, and the Almanac spotlights Wordsworth today. The two great trans-Atlantic nature-loving Walking Poets. One found “intimations of immortality in [his] recollections of early childhood,” the other inspired a great series of children’s books by D.B. Johnson that I fondly recall from our girls’ early childhood.
The Times yesterday featured a trio of children’s books that celebrate what Henry called the art of sauntering and “the simple pleasures of a stroll.” It’s an art not far removed from the carefree spirit of childhood, that in later life evokes in sentimentalists and poets a sense of eternal youth.
But did Thoreau or Wordsworth ever walk with children? (Children other than themselves, I mean. Someone calculated that Wordsworth has to have averaged about seven miles a day from the age of five.) That’s an art unto itself. A chapter of Philosophy Walks will indulge my own recollections of walking with children, and talking with them, and rediscovering the world through fresh eyes. It’s an experience I recommend, and am forever trying to recapture. It’s hard to get back. Is that what Henry meant when he said he “long ago lost a hound, a bay horse, and a turtle dove, and am still on their trail”?
Brainpickings: Thoreau on the art of walking & the spiritual rewards of sauntering http://buff.ly/1L9rScT… on defining your own success http://buff.ly/1fAHMBN
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