Walking by David Henry Thoreau

TITLE: Walking

AUTHOR: David Henry Thoreau

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

If I have to describe Thoreau, I think I will choose this line by Byron, “I love not Man the less, but Nature more”.

Walking is a book about an author’s description of nature and its impact on him. Thoreau being a transcendentalist, chose nature over civilization which is often reflected in his writing. His beginning sentence, “I wish to make a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil”, shines light on his approach toward life. In this book, he talks about the art of walking, sauntering as he calls it.

He does not believe in walking on cemented paths, rather, he chooses an untamed one, pristine with uneven blades of grass blossoming with its exquisite scent. He believes that “roads are made for horses and men of business” and wilderness unclutters one’s head and the sound of nature and its sight, relaxes them.

Thoreau has been seen targeting the so called ‘civil people’ in this book. He has pointed at their inability or lack of interest in breaking from the barriers of their trapped lives. He often questions them about their choice to spend the majority of their lives confined to their houses or their offices. He does this because he considers himself an untamed spirit, who is not fit for civilization. He finds peace when he treads on a raw path and cannot imagine being bound within walls.

For all those nature lover out there, this book would feel like home; like the warmth of the morning sun spreading in your heart. I know this because I feel the same. “The singer can easily move us to tears or laughter, but where is he who can excite in us a pure morning joy?” This book is an invitation for all those people who would like to know what a person feels in the company of nature; a person for whom the wild is their meditation field, where they connect to their soul.

There are all kinds of love out there and ‘Walking’ talks about the one with nature.

I would like to conclude with Thoreau-

So we saunter toward the Holy Land, till one day the sun shall shine more brightly than ever he has done, shall perchance shine into our minds and hearts, and light up our whole lives with a great awakening light, as warm and serene and golden as on a bankside in autumn.

David Henry Thoreau

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