Day 56 of 365
On July 4, 1845, Henry David Thoreau moved to a tiny cabin on Walden Pond in order “to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
On this July 4, at first, I thought about my disillusionment and the mourning I felt for the liberties of clean air, clean water, wholesome food, and bodily autonomy that have been taken from us.
But, then, I remembered that July 4 was the day Thoreau moved to the woods of Walden Pond, and I remembered Thoreau gave me a path to an independence of sorts that is as outside as I can get of a corrupt system with a government that allows big business to poison us, to kill us, and big religion to divide us–ALL in the name of profit and power.
Today, I celebrate Henry David Thoreau and an environmental movement that, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling last week against environmental protections, continues to live–and thrive in many ways.
I celebrate July 4 as a day of environmentalism, as a day to remember that we are a part of Nature and that Nature is a part of us. When we separate ourselves from Nature, we make it easier for those would wish to destroy it in the name of greed to do so. Nature is our home. The birds in the trees are our brothers and our sisters, and clean water, fresh air, and good soil are essential to all of our lives.
Today, I cannot celebrate “freedom” in America because too many of us are not free. But, today, I can celebrate Thoreau for helping to open my eyes and the eyes of so many others who continue to be inspired by a human who was flawed but striving, as we all should be, I think, to treasure and protect Nature because it’s the source of everything for us.
Today, a young man, perhaps an idealist, went to the woods, and he wrote about his experiences and tried to make a difference in the short life he lived.
Happy Walden Pond Day, friends!