Thoreau Thursdays (44): The True Harvest of One’s Daily Life

February 16, 2012

“The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. . . . The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening.  It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.”
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Tinted morning clouds

A quiet February dawn at Green Lake

Sunrise tints reflected in the waters of Green Lake

“If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal — that is your success.  All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself.”
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Thoreau reminds us that it is the small things that make a life, the accumulation of small moments.  I’ve come to realize that chances are slight that I will write an award-winning book, have a screenplay written about my life, paint a masterpiece, or accomplish some Nobel peace prize-winning deed.  My satisfactions and accomplishments are small.  I don’t mind living small moments, but I want to live them deeply and appreciatively.  I don’t aspire to greatness, but to ordinariness.  I hope to leave a small footprint, or none, when I die.

What will be the harvest of your life?

6 Responses to “Thoreau Thursdays (44): The True Harvest of One’s Daily Life”

  1. garden2day Says:

    What a great question and one that we should all ask ourselves-often. I want to be remembered for how I loved life but am scared that I may only be seen for the amount of pain I have endured. Beautiful sunrise!!!

  2. Elisa's Spot Says:

    Thank you for this one, today, I feel like my nose is all stoppered up and I am not noticing these things. It is funny, or not, that instead of scampering off to do so, I add angry at myself for ‘failing’ at the task. i must say that it has been drizzling for quite a while, which normally i enjoy, and just very blah. However, it shifted over to gently falling snow, which has given a lighter white cast to the perceived dark…my insides leap with joy at the ability to focus on that one small thing, to feel that tiny ember of my inner flame still alive.

  3. Renee Says:

    Rosemary you have touched many and your Blog and Watercolors have graced my life. Thank you for this and as far as I’m concerned your “small” contributions are great and rewarding


  4. You have gracefully caught the stardust for us!

  5. Christina Says:

    as a young woman, i used to say that i wanted to be content which my friends found so strange since they craved elation + excitement. as i have aged, inner peace and contentment provide true joy. small is authentic..and personal. i love thoreau, so I’m going to go back and read all of these. you blog is also a gift to the world.


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