A porch at the entrance of a burrow (Walden 28)

Prairie dogs, via Wikimedia Commons

Prairie dogs, via Wikimedia Commons

Thoreau on building his house in the woods:

“I took particular pleasure in this breaking of ground, for in almost all latitudes men dig into the earth for an equable temperature. Under the most splendid house in the city is still to be found the cellar where they store their roots as of old, and long after the superstructure has disappeared posterity remark its dent in the earth. The house is still but a sort of porch at the entrance of a burrow.”

I’ll never look at my basement the same way again.

(Today, incidentally, is the anniversary of Thoreau’s death in 1862. He died of tuberculosis at age 44. He spent his finally weeks at home, surrounded by relatives and friends, able to speak only in a faint whisper. When his Aunt Louisa asked if he’d made his peace with God, he replied, “I did not know that we had ever quarreled, Aunt.”)

(About  “A Year in Walden”)

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