“This is a delicious evening, when the whole body is one sense, and imbibes delight through every pore. I go and come with a strange liberty in Nature, a part of herself. As I walk along the stony shore of the pond in my shirt-sleeves, though it is cool as well as cloudy and windy, and I see nothing special to attract me, all the elements are unusually congenial to me. The bullfrogs trump to usher in the night, and the note of the whip-poor-will is borne on the rippling wind from over the water. Sympathy with the fluttering alder and poplar leaves almost takes away my breath; yet, like the lake, my serenity is rippled but not ruffled. These small waves raised by the evening wind are as remote from storm as the smooth reflecting surface. Though it is now dark, the wind still blows and roars in the wood, the waves still dash, and some creatures lull the rest with their notes. The repose is never complete. The wildest animals do not repose, but seek their prey now; the fox, and skunk, and rabbit, now roam the fields and woods without fear. They are Nature’s watchmen — links which connect the days of animated life.” Walden…Henry David Thoreau
For me,Thoreau wrote the book on simplicity, literally. I am not moving to a cabin in the woods, but I will, by week’s end, have two rather large cardboard boxes filled up with unnecessary clutter and delivered to Goodwill. The boxes are sitting perceptibly on my keeping room table to remind me of their urgency. I will tend to them and at the end of the week, or perhaps sooner, I will feel gratification, for my life will be just a bit more relieved. This quest for simplicity, I am discovering, is a physical as well as a spiritual journey. I am also discovering that the physical achievement is much easier to attain than the spiritual.