7.15.2004

The Journal of HDT: 15-July-1854

Rained still in forenoon; now cloudy. Fields comparatively deserted today and yesterday. Hay stands cocked in them on all sides. Some, being shorn, are clear for the walker. It is but a short time that he has to dodge the haymakers. This cooler, still, cloudy weather after the rain is very autumnal and restorative to our spirits. The robin sings still, but the goldfinch twitters over oftener, and I hear the link link of the bobolink (one perfect strain!), and the crickets creak more as in the fall. All these sounds dispose our mind to serenity. Perhaps the mosquitoes are most troublesome such days in the woods, if it is warm enough. We seem to be passing, or to have passed, a dividing line between spring and autumn, and begin to descend the long slope toward winter. On the shady side of the hill I go along Hubbard’s walls toward the bathing-place, stepping high to keep my feet as dry as may be. All is stillness in the fields. The calamint (Pyenanthemum muticum), standing by the wall with its hoary upper leaves, full of light even this cloudy day and reminding of the fragrance which I know so well, is an agreeable sight. I need not smell it; it is balm to my mind to remember its fragrance

4 comments:

Dale said...

Well, but my question, Henry, is what exactly is the smell that one perceives when one "need not smell it"? Are we smelling the memory, or remembering the smell?

Greg said...
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Jack Saturday said...

Lankavatara Sutra: "When the triple world is surveyed by the Bodhisattva, he perceives that its existence is due to memory [literally, 'perfuming'] that has been accumulated since the beginningless past, but wrongly interpreted,"

These words equating memory and perfuming are traditionally attributed to the Buddha. Thoreau, who "read the eternities" instead of The Times, would have been aware of them.


best,
Jack

Anonymous said...

link, link
the bobolink,
and the crickets creak more
as in the fall...