that subdued and knocking mood
...Thoreau's Journal: 27-Jan-1860

As I go along the edge of Hubbard’s Wood, on the ice, it is very warm in the sun—and calm there. There are certain spots I could name, by hill and wood sides, which are always thus sunny and warm in fair weather, and have been, for aught I know, since the world was made. What a distinction they enjoy!

How many memorable localities in a river walk! Here is the warm wood-side; next, the good fishing bay; and next, where the old settler was drowned when crossing on the ice a hundred years ago. It is all storied.

I occasionally hear a musquash plunge under the ice next the shore.

These winter days I occasionally hear the note of a goldfinch, or maybe a redpoll, unseen, passing high overhead.

When you think that your walk is profitless and a failure, and you can hardly persuade yourself not to return, it is on the point of being a success, for then you are in that subdued and knocking mood to which Nature never fails to open.


Harry said...

An excellent passage. Sunny January days are often a real gem in the south, but I thought I had them all to myself! And once again, thanks for this blog.

Anonymous said...

winter days--
the note of a goldfinch, unseen,
passing high overhead

michael jameson said...

as a child i loved to walk down the river with forest on either side! and reminisce of the hard passing through the woods in summer, with one wish that i had brought my skates?.