In light of many looming deadlines, I have just a quick thought to share here today. Inspired by a recent visit to Fruitlands Museum to learn about Alcott's utopian experiment, I cracked open my copy of Thoreau's essay "Walking" and was struck by the opening lines:
I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil - to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society. I wish to make an extreme statement, if so I may make an emphatic one, for there are enough champions of civilization: the minister and the school committee and every one of you will take care of that.
My take-away from these lines is less focused on his point about people's inherent right for freedom and wildness, which is perhaps HIS main point, but more on his claim that there were "enough champions of civilization." I infer that he felt there were not enough champions of Nature (with Thoreau's capital "N").
Although his essay was published almost 150 years ago, I see parallels in current open space conservation efforts - our society's current-day efforts to protect and preserve Nature - which seem to be so often up against champions of expanding civilization's footprint at the expense of Nature.
I am clearly taking liberties here with Thoreau's intentions in this essay and I do not wish to obscure his intent but only to inject the thoughts of my own mind as triggered by his words. After 150 years, his words still inspire. Thank you, Thoreau.