Friday, March 29, 2024



"It is surprising and memorable and, I may add, valuable experience, to be lost in the woods, especially at night. Sometimes in a snowstorm, even by day, one will come out upon a well-known road and yet find it impossible to tell which way leads to the village. Though your reason tells you have travelled it one hundred times, yet no object looks familiar, but is as strange to you as if you were in Tantary. By night, of course, the perplexity is infinitely greater. We are constantly steering like pilots by certain well-known beacons and headlands, though we are not conscious of it, and if we go beyond our usual course we still preserve the bearing of some neighboring cape and not till we are completely lost or turned around, -- for a man needs only to be turned round once with his eyes shut in this world to be lost -- do we appreciate the vastness and strangeness of nature. Every man must once more learn the points of the compass as often as he wakes, whether from sleep or from an abstraction. In fact, not till we are lost do we begin to realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations."
-From Thoreau's Journal; March 29, 1853.

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