10.15.2013

our park forever
...Thoreau's Journal: 15-Oct-1859

Each town should have a park, or rather a primitive forest, of five hundred or a thousand acres, where a stick should never be cut for fuel, a common possession forever, for instruction and recreation. We hear of cow commons and ministerial lots, but we want men-commons and lay lots, inalienable forever. Let us keep the New World new, preserve all the advantages of living in the country. There is meadow and pasture and wood-lot for the town’s poor. Why not a forest and huckleberry field for the town’s rich? All Walden Wood might have been preserved for our park forever, with Walden in its midst, and the Easterbrooks Country, an unoccupied area of some four square miles, might have been our huckleberry-field. If any owners of these tracts are about to leave the world without natural heirs who need or deserve to be specially remembered, they will do wisely to abandon their possession to all, and not will them to some individual who perhaps has enough already. As some give to Harvard College or another institution, why might not another give a forest or huckleberry-field to Concord? A town is an institution which deserves to be remembered. We boast of our system of education, but why stop at schoolmasters and schoolhouses? We are all schoolmasters, and our schoolhouse is the universe. To attend chiefly to the desk or schoolhouse while we neglect the scenery in which it is placed is absurd. If we do not look out we shall find our fine schoolhouse standing in a cow-yard at last.

5 comments:

5thBeliever said...

Another keeper from HDT...

Beth W. said...

My copy of "The Blog of Henry David Thoreau" arrived today. Looks great, and I am so pleased to keep it nearby for ready reference.

aum dada said...

I hope you enjoy. Thanks for the purchase. I just wish I could get Henry to sign it. :)

Pierre said...

Trees and forest are the common property of all mankind.
I like your choice.

michael jameson said...

this is one of thoreau's greatest thoughts for mankind!, had it happened we would have been better for it!, i am glad where i live now, for that reason alone!, the greedy non caring people have not reached us yet,,,but they will!!, what money will you take to have your front and back yard paved over?. michael jameson oldantiqueguy@hotmail.com