“Walden: or, Life in the Woods” by Henry David Thoreau
At Walden Pond, Henry David Thoreau reflected on simpler living in the natural world. By removing himself from the distractions of materialism, Thoreau hoped to not only improve his spiritual life but also gain a better understanding of society through solitary introspection.
In Walden, Thoreau condenses his two-year, two-month, two-day stay into a single year, using the four seasons to symbolize human development—a cycle of life shared by both nature and man. A celebration of personal renewal through self-reliance, independence, and simplicity, composed for all of us living in “quiet desperation,” Walden is eternal.
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
“I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
“Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.”
“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”
“As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.”
“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”
“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
“Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.”