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Henry David Thoreau

From Walden:

"We need the tonic of wildness, to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booking of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground.

Henry David Thoreau

At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and titanic features, the sea-coast with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living and its decaying trees, the thunder cloud, and the rain which lasts three weeks and produces freshlets.

We need to witness our own limitations transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander."


Henry David Thoreau lived from 1817 to 1862, largely in the area of Concord, Massachusetts. His musings on man and nature helped develop the values and philosophies of the New England transcendentalists, bringing romance and intrigue to our most common eye. In his journals, and certainly in Walden, Thoreau suggests a beauty and mystery not in the remote and stupendous, but in the daily and momentary nature that is close at hand. Often this drama is enhanced by melancholy reflections, as nature is cruel.being beautiful and sometimes ugly at the same time.

One of the reasons I admire Thoreau is that he constantly reminds me to look at my humanness and how I exist in relation to the wilderness world. He shakes me up and forces my eyes right down to the forest floor. My perspective shifts and I wonder at my blindness of moments just before.

Thoreau put forth that most human beings lead lives of quiet desperation and that a union with the "higher laws" of nature would give one good council and relative peace. Certainly, I believe this to be true.

Winter into Spring is a good time to read Thoreau's writings. Seek and ye shall find.

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