“‘What are you doing?’ he asked ‘Do you keep a journal?’ So I make my first entry today.” This was Henry David Thoreau’s first journal entry on October 22, 1837 after Ralph Waldo Emerson suggested that he begin keeping one.
I discovered this tidbit of information while searching the internet for some poetry and quotes from a book about nature that I once owned. It was a collection by Thoreau I thought, or maybe it was Emerson, I wasn’t really sure.
It was 9:00 am and I was working on a press release announcing the Grand Opening of Salt Creek Lodge. I wanted to get national attention so I made reference to it being located next to the Little River National Wildlife Refuge. Then I thought about the fact that if it made big news, the story would be published on the internet. We really needed to reach as many nature lovers as possible, so I thought a few words from Thoreau would certainly optimize the search engines.
I usually avoid internet searching if at all possible. It’s such an A.D.D. nightmare that I rarely make it back to what I was doing! Needless to say, I love reading biographical information; especially about authors or anyone who writes for a living, past or present.
I learned that most of my favorite authors used to hang out together. Emerson was Thoreau’s friend and mentor and encouraged him to start a journal. I think Thoreau was first published in “The Dial”, a literary magazine.
It was now 11:30 am. , I was still reading about the Transcendentalist gang and imagining what it would have been like to be one of them. (I did not know this word and when I have time, I plan to study it further.) I tried to convince myself that this guilty pleasure was research and necessary to do a good job, but I finally stopped reading and got back to work. By then it was lunch time and I had never even found the words I was trying to fit in the press release. I sent it out the way it was and made myself a sandwich.
While I was eating I couldn’t quit thinking about why I had this job in the first place. My mind was racing and I had unintentionally memorized Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words to Henry David Thoreau. I searched everywhere for a new spiral or at least one that was half full of unused paper. I found a small spiral notepad and started a journal for the two hundredth time, but I make my first entry today since my arrival at Salt Creek.
© Jana Jeffcoat and Salt Creek, 2013.