Olympus is but the outside of the earth everywhere (Walden 47)

Thoreau moved into his cabin at Walden Pond when the little house was still unfinished, and the summer breeze blew through the wide chinks of the rough walls. It was still hardly more than a shelter from the rain. But he writes,

“This was an airy and unplastered cabin, fit to entertain a travelling god, and where a goddess might trail her garments. The winds which passed over my dwelling were such as sweep over the ridges of mountains, bearing the broken strains, or celestial parts only, of terrestrial music. The morning wind forever blows, the poem of creation is uninterrupted; but few are the ears that hear it. Olympus is but the outside of the earth everywhere.”

Though Henry speaks of “terrestrial music,” by coincidence the music playing on my MP3 player when I read this was Debussy’s “La Mer,” and so the sea was swelling even as a cool forest breeze blew through the unfinished cabin, even as I sat on a padded chair in a carpeted room deep in the stacks of a library.

(About  “A Year in Walden”)


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