12.21.2013

of another nature
...Thoreau's Journal: 21-Dec-1851

My acquaintances sometimes imply that I am too cold; but each thing is warm enough of its kind. Is the stone too cold which absorbs the heat of the summer sun and does part with it during the night? Crystals, though they be of ice, are not too cold to melt, but it was in melting that they were formed. Cold! I am most sensible of warmth in winter days. It is not the warmth of fire that you would have, but everything is warm and cold according to its nature. It is not that I am too cold, but that our warmth and coldness are not of the same nature; hence when I am absolutely warmest, I may be coldest to you. Crystal does not complain of crystal any more than the dove of its mate. You who complain that I am cold find Nature cold. To me she is warm. My heat is latent to you. Fire itself is cold to whatever is not of a nature to be warmed by it. A cool wind is warmer to a feverish man than the air of a furnace. That I am cold means that I am of another nature.

3 comments:

michael jameson said...

cold is relative,have i not warmed the hearts of others? i needed warmth to do that! have others not warmed my heart!, do not confuse my nature for my feelings.

Quinton said...

Thoreau may be talking of something else, but this passage makes me think of how often the person who seems friendliest on first meeting can't hide a deep indifference later. And the one who appears indifferent on first meeting shows something more genuine later. I've learned not to trust surface temperatures.

pandionna said...

Thoreau speaks for menopausal women everywhere. :-) Beautiful passage, though.