the May-gate
...Thoreau's Journal: 10-May-1853

I proceed down the Turnpike. The masses of the golden willow are seen in the distance on either side of the way, twice as high as the road is wide, conspicuous against the distant, still half-russet hills and forests, for the green grass hardly yet prevails over the dead stubble, and the woods are but just beginning to gray. The female willow is a shade greener. At this season the traveler passes through a golden gate on causeways where these willows are planted, as if he were approaching the entrance to Fairyland; and there will surely be found the yellowbird, and already from a distance is heard his note, a tche tche tche tcha tchar tcha,—ah, willow, willow. Could not he truly arrange for us the difficult family of the willows better than Borrer, or Barrat of Middletown? And as he passes between the portals, a sweet fragrance is wafted to him; he not only breathes but scents and tastes the air, and he hears the low humming or susurrus of a myriad insects which are feeding on its sweets. It is, apparently, these that attract the yellowbird. The golden gates of the year, the May-gate. The traveler cannot pass out of Concord by the highways in any direction without passing between such portals,—graceful, curving, drooping, wand-like twigs, on which leaves and blossoms appear together.

1 comment:

michael jameson said...

what a shame i feel sometimes that we do not travel by carriage anymore !, we have traded the sounds and smells and sights of the carriage ride for the car radio, air conditioner, engine etc, and every thing goes by to quickly to even look at it!, the tree lined roads with warm sweet smells and the sounds of birds and even the sun on our face,for speed!! and comfort!! its lets get there and enjoy it not lets enjoy it while we get there!?!? "why does life have to be a race?". michael jameson oldantiqueguy@hotmail.com