Happy Birthday Henry David Thoreau

12 Jul
Hi Henry, let's celebrate your birthday together, xox LMA

Hi Henry, let’s celebrate your birthday together, xox LMA

Hello Suffragette Kitty fans,

Today is my Henry’s 195th birthday (I’ve always preferred older men) and there are some big happenings in these parts.

The Thoreau Society has set aside a few days to celebrate the man who continues to bring peace and harmony to so many. Here is a schedule of events. I’m there and hopefully I will see you. (Can you imagine having a whole SOCIETY created for you? Now, that’s making an impact!)

I know your time is limited so I’ll just highlight some interesting observations.

First a fun fact. Did you know he was first named David Henry Thoreau? He hated the name David, so transposed his first and middle names. Also, he was a Cancer and I was a Sagittarius. I am still waiting for the stars to align.

HDT died of tuberculosis just a few months shy of his 45th birthday. That is young, even by 19th century standards. Despite those few years wandering the woods and rivers of Concord, Henry was able to express so much to so many. People flocked to hear what he had to say. That is an incredible feat, especially considering he had no Internet, blog, Facebook, Twitter, or any social media to rely upon. It was mostly written words and word of mouth.

It helped that what he wrote resonated with so many then and now, and probably forever. He truly captured the human soul with his work.

HDT continues to captivate people from all walks of life with his philosophies and work.

I know I talk about Henry a lot here, that’s because I’m still so enamored. I credit HDT with teaching me how to view a simple event from another perspective. When we were young, he took my sisters and me for a walk in what is now Walden Woods. He made us stop and look at a leaf and describe it. Our descriptions did not include anything earth shattering. Then he said, to imagine you are a fairy perched on the leaf. What do you see now?

Very interesting and so insightful. I carry that perspective with me always.

xo LMA

I’ll close with a few of my favorite HDT quotes: (please add some of yours!)

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”

“Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.”

Hope you enjoy Henry’s Big Day,

xo, LMA

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4 Responses to “Happy Birthday Henry David Thoreau”

  1. Letizia July 12, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    I’ve always loved this one: “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”

    Great post 🙂

  2. soonie2 July 12, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    Happy birthday Henry! I must get back to Walden Pond…it’s been years sine I’ve walked around it. My mom used to take my brother and I there when we were little.

  3. kathleen July 13, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    I’ve always like this one: “What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.”

    And remembered this one perhaps best of all: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

  4. Jeffrey S. Cramer July 15, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    You may want to take a look at the Walden Woods Project’s Thoreau Mis-quotation page (http://www.walden.org/Library/Quotations/The_Henry_D._Thoreau_Mis-Quotation_Page) or get a copy of THE QUOTABLE THOREAU (Princeton University Press). Some of the quotations above aren’t Thoreau’s.

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