April 1, 2011


"They were pleasant spring days, in which the winter of man's discontent was thawing as well as the earth, and the life that had lain torpid began to stretch itself. One day . . . I saw a striped snake run into the water, and he lay on the bottom, apparently without inconvenience, as long as I staid there, or more than a quarter of an hour; perhaps because he had not yet fairly come out of the torpid state. It appeared to me that for a like reason men remain in the present low and primitive condition; but if they should feel the influence of the spring of springs arousing them, they would of necessity rise to a more ethereal life. . . . On April 1 it rained and melted the ice, and in the early part of the day, which was very foggy, I heard a stray goose groping about over the pond and cackling as if lost, or like the spirit of the fog." Henry David Thoreau, Walden, in A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, Walden, The Maine Woods, Cape Cod (New York: Library of America, 1985), at 355.