Okay, having said that I’m not a HUGE fan of HD Thoreau, allow me to quote him yet one more time. I think I shall have to actually READ Walden soon. I will admit that my earlier complaint about HDT is because most of what I have read of his is merely quotes. I have some suspicion that if I actually engaged him in toto of his major works, I might be otherwise disposed toward him.
I once dabbled in Civil Disobedience, and was nonplussed. I did read the entire volume of his Maine Woods and found it interesting as an historical account of the Maine what was, but not particularly significant beyond that.
But here, I find Thoreau using words that speak powerfully to me. I read this, and I think, “I could get along just fine with Henry. Just fine.”
It is remarkable what a value is still put upon wood even in this age and in this new country, a value more permanent and universal than that of gold. After all our discoveries and inventions no man will go by a pile of wood. It is as precious to us as it was to our Saxon and Norman ancestors. Every man looks at his wood-pile with a kind of affection. I love to have mine before my window, and the more chips the better to remind me of my pleasing work. I had an old axe which nobody claimed, with which by spells in winter days, on the sunny side of the house, I played about the stumps which I had got out of my bean-field. As my driver prophesied when I was plowing, they warmed me twice- once while I was splitting them, and again when they were on the fire, so that no fuel could give out more heat.*
I actually went searching for this particular passage, which I knew to be one of his, because I have lately noted that his sense of a man’s feeling toward his woodpile correspond closely with mind. I can’t explain it really, but I find great satisfaction and contentment in the act of merely standing to gaze upon my growing wood pile. This is not to mention that pleasure of actually making it grow by cutting, splitting and stacking the wood, nor the delight of planning how to obtain more of it, and determining how best to store it and manage it.
I hope that you note that the pile has grown some since I last posted a photo of it. Please note that. It will make me feel good, like when you say nice things about my kids.
Yes. I do indeed feel affection for my woodpile. The more chips, the better.
*From Walden by Henry David Thoreau