Thoreau's Journal: 20-Jan-1852

The farmers nowadays can cart out peat and muck over the frozen meadows. Somewhat analogous, methinks, the scholar does; drives in with tight-braced energy and winter cheer on to his now firm meadowy grounds, and carts, hauls off, the virgin loads of fertilizing soil which he threw up in the warm, soft summer. We now bring our muck out of the meadows, but it was thrown up first in summer. The scholar’s and the farmer’s work are strictly analogous. Easily he now conveys, sliding over the snow-clad ground, great loads of fuel and of lumber which have grown in many summers, from the forest to the town. He deals with the dry hay and cows, the spoils of summer meads and fields, stored in his barns, doling it out from day to day, and manufactures milk for men. When I see the farmer driving into his barn-yard with a load of muck, whose blackness contrasts strangely with the white snow, I have the thoughts which I have described. He is doing like myself. My barn-yard is my journal.

1 comment:

bruce said...

Have you read that new book Natural Life yet? Robinson quotes Thoreau comparing his Journal to "a leaf which hangs over my head in the path - I bend the twig and then write my prayers on it then letting it go the bough springs up and shows the scrawl to heaven." By the way, thanks for what you're doing here. bruce