Thoreau's Journal: 04-Jan-1852

To Fair Haven on the ice partially covered with snow.

The cracks in the ice show a white cleavage. What is their law? Somewhat like foliage, but too rectangular, like the characters of some Oriental language. I feel as if I could get grammar and dictionary and go into it. They are of the form which a thin flake of ice takes in melting, somewhat rectangular with an irregular edge.

The pond is covered,—dappled or sprinkled,—more than half covered, with flat drifts or patches of snow which has lodged, of graceful curving outlines. One would like to skim over it like a hawk, and detect their law.


pilgrimchick said...

The great thing about Thoreau is his continual interpretation of the nature that surrounded him in his lifetime, and how that interpretation changed as the seasons changed. It makes those of us who live in New England really appreciate being able to observe those changes on our own today.

Anonymous said...

Thoreau, like his friend Emerson, believed that all of Nature represents ideas and ideals of spiritual significance, if we can but decode the meaning. Emerson was said to believe that the idea behind a fact or thing in Nature was the more real object. This is a powerful way to observe nature.