but not the sand-banks
...Thoreau's Journal: 14-Oct-1857

It is indeed a golden autumn. These ten days are enough to make the reputation of any climate. A tradition of these days might be handed down to posterity. They deserve a notice in history, in the history of Concord. All kinds of crudities have a chance to get ripe this year. Was there ever such an autumn? And yet there was never such a panic and hard times in the commercial world. The merchants and banks are suspending and failing all the country over, but not the sand-banks, solid and warm, and streaked with blackberry vines. You may run upon them as much as you please,—even as the crickets do, and find their account in it. They are the stockholders in these banks, and I hear them creaking their content. You may see them on change any warmer hour. In these banks, too, and such as these, are my funds deposited, a fund of health and enjoyment. Their (the crickets) prosperity and happiness and, I trust, mine do not depend on whether the New York banks suspend or no. We do not rely on such a slender security as the thin paper of the Suffolk Bank. To put your trust in such a bank is to be swallowed up and undergo suffocation. Invest, I say, in these country banks. Let your capital be simplicity and contentment. Withered goldenrod (Solidago nemoralis) is no failure, like a broken bank, and yet in its most golden season, nobody counterfeits it. Nature needs no counterfeit detector. I have no compassion for, nor sympathy with, this miserable state of things. Banks built of granite, after some Grecian or Roman style, with their porticoes and their safes of iron, are not so permanent, and cannot give me so good security for capital invested in them, as the heads of weathered hardhack in the meadow. I do not suspect the solvency of these. I know who is their president and cashier.


michael jameson said...

nature will always be just that, it is everything else that causes panic,from money to a mother who's child has lost a shoe and the world will not turn because of it!, it effects our health and happiness !, people dont know how to be happy in our world and most just for a moment?, those closest to nature are happiest!!. michael jameson oldantiqueguy@hotmail.com

Meg said...

It's observations like these that make Thoreau my favorite nonfiction writer. The man just had a knack for equating our petty concerns with the all-encompassing and unlimited potential of Nature ... to be found in sandbanks and goldenrod, a common plant! He equated Nature with human nature in a funny, readable way ... love Henry so much!