Henry D. Thoreau

In Walden, …

In Walden, Thoreau wrote:
“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand…. Simplify, simplify!”

Happy New Year and Happy Trails!

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First Entry

“‘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.

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