Thoreau Thursdays (38): Heaven Under Our Feet

January 5, 2012

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Frosted edges

“I believe that a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.”
— Walt Whitman

I stand in awe of the Great Mysteries of Life.  It seems so miraculous that the swirling atoms that make up our physical bodies are just so much “empty” space, echoing the vast spaces between stars and planets.  That when we die, our atoms will not disappear, but simply change form.  And what is the spark that animates our body?  By what mystery did it arrive?  And by what mystery does it leave, and where does it go?

We live in a wonder-full world.  And Thoreau reminds us that Nature can connect us to that wonder, to that mystery.  Other writers and poets also state it well:

“One of the hardest lessons we have to learn in this life, and one that many persons never learn, is to see the divine, the celestial, the pure, in the common, the near at hand — to see heaven lies about us here in this world.”
— John Burroughs, Leaf and Tendril

” . . . the most solid, reliable things in existence — a seashell, a tree branch, a pothole in the middle of the road — partake of God’s mystery.”
— Deepak Chopra, How to Know God

“To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.”
— William Blake, “Auguries of Innocence”

“Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God.”
— Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“The lesson which life repeats and constantly reinforces is ‘look under foot.’  You are always nearer the divine and the true sources of your power than you think.  The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive.  The great opportunity is where you are.  Do not despise your own place and hour.  Every place is under the stars.  Every place is the center of the world.”
— John Burroughs

One Response to “Thoreau Thursdays (38): Heaven Under Our Feet”

  1. Elisa's Spot Says:

    Enchantment!!!!

    (dancing in chair to Shake Me Like a Monkey)


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