Thoreau Thursdays (49): Necessaries of the Soul

March 22, 2012

“Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul.”
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Wrapped pennies

“However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names.  It is not so bad as you are.  It looks poorest when you are richest.”
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden

“For I don’t care too much for money
Cause money can’t buy me love.”
— John Lennon and Paul McCartney, “Can’t Buy Me Love”

When you are struggling with paying yet another bill and trying to save for your next car or retirement, it is easy to forget that money does not buy happiness.  When you do stop to think about what is important in life, it’s the intangibles like love, satisfying work, or communication that most improve the quality of your life.  And these “necessaries of the soul”  can accrue to even the poorer among us.

Here are a few of my favorite things that can be had for no money.  What would be on your list?

  • walking barefoot on a sandy beach where the waves lap the shore
  • a hot shower
  • listening to the gleeful giggles of children
  • getting lost in a good library book
  • finding a hand-written letter in the mailbox
  • spooning in bed
  • the smell of freshly baked bread
  • an unexpected snow day
  • a comfortable rocking chair
  • cradling a baby in your lap
  • beach combing for pretty shells
  • the scent of lilacs
  • birdwatching
  • tree watching
  • cloud watching
  • loving and supporting my family




4 Responses to “Thoreau Thursdays (49): Necessaries of the Soul”

  1. Shirley Mord Says:

    Clothes hanging outdoors
    fresh sheets on your bed
    first tulips in the spring
    return of the hummingbirds
    finishing a good book
    the feel of new socks

  2. sandy bessingpas Says:

    coffee on the deck in early morning, a sunset over the lake, hearing the spring peepers for the first time each year, walking in the rain, making snowshoe tracks in the fresh snow, getting a new magazine in the mailbox, fresh cookies right from the oven with a glass of cold milk, finding a note in your bag lunch, a crisp apple right from the tree, a sun warmed tomato from the garden, finding the elusive morel in the leafy earth, sitting around the campfire listening to accordian music, the smell of freshly cut alfalfa…the list could go on and on

    • Rosemary Says:

      Oh, I love all of these things, too. It’s fun reading about the free things in life that bring such pleasure. Thanks for sharing your list.

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