Out of the Past

Thoreau
August 23







and Other Natural History Essays



         

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. Let them be your only diet drink and botanical medicines.

In August live on berries, not dried meats and pemmican, as if you were on shipboard making your way through a waste ocean, or in a northern desert.

Be blown on by all the winds. Open all your pores and bathe in all the tides of Nature, in all her streams and oceans, at all seasons. Miasma and infection are from within, not without. The invalid, brought to the brink of the grave by an unnatural life, instead of imbibing only the great influence that Nature is, drinks only the tea made of a particular herb, while he still continues his unnatural life, - saves at the spite and wastes at the bung. He does not love Nature or his life, and so sickens and dies, and no doctor can cure him.  



Grow green with spring, yellow and ripe with autumn. Drink of each season's influence as a vial, a true panacea of all remedies mixed for your especial use. The vials of summer never made a man sick, but those which he stored in his cellar. Drink the wines not of you bottling, but of Nature's bottling; not kept in goat-skins or pig-skins, but the skins of a myriad fair berries.  Let Nature do your bottling and your pickling and preserving. For all Nature is doing her best each moment to make us well. She exists for no other end. Do not resist her. With the least inclination to be well, we should not be sick.

Men have discovered - or think they have discovered - the salutariness of a few wild things only, and not of all nature. Why, "nature" is but another name for health, and the seasons are but different states of health. Some men think that they are not well in spring, or summer, or autumn, or winter; it is only because they are not well in them.


1853

Twitter Updates
follow Thoreau on Twitter

Other Entries

January 4
January 6
January 7
January 10
January 11
January 21
January 23
January 24
January 27
January 29
January 30
February 3
February 6
February 9
February 21
February 23
February 25
March 1
March 4
March 5
March 7
March 11
March 12
March 13
March 14
March 15
March 19
March 27
March 29
March 31
April 1
April 3
April 7
April 9
April 11
April 19

May 1
May 3
May 7
May 9
May 10
May 11
May 16
May 19
May 20
May 24
May 26
May 27
May 29
May 31
June 3
June 9
June 10
June 11
June 14
June 16
July 4
July 15
August 13
August 15
August 16
August 18
August 20
August 22
August 23
September 1
September 26
September 29


June 3
June 9
June 10
June 11
June 14
June 16
July 4
July 15
July 24
August 13
August 15
August 16
August 18
August 20
August 22
August 23
September 1
September 26
September 29
October 13
October 20
October 23-28
October 29
November 1
November 6
November 10
November 11
November 14
November 20
November 25
November 26
November 27
December 2
December 6
December 16
December 17
December 19
December 31




Outrider