Seeker

March 04, 1991|By Robin Stratton

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads

-- Henry David Thoreau

I don't think Henry wore a hat at Walden.

It seems his head was bared to every wind,

to sun and soil water bird and beast, even

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to the woodchuck (though its undisciplined

consumption of his beanfield bothered him

at times). The laws of Concord didn't bind

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him to a blind allegiance, nor was it whim

that led him to obey a different principle

than "thou shalt not." To skim

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across the surface like a water-bug or lull

oneself to sleep with pious platitudes was

not to live at all. Living is the miracle

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of choice pursued by few amid the buzz

and gossip of the nameless thoughtless crowd.

Here was a self-appointed prophet of the cause

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of humankind: wild-man solitary saint who vowed

an endless exploration in the world of self and

stars. Though townsfolk scoffed, a cloud

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of witnesses applaused silently at Walden Pond

where eyes ears heart emotion will and hands

caressed the world he'd come thus far to tend.

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