In Thoreau’s essay “Nature” he speaks about going into the woods and not actually being in the woods. He is referring to being in the woods in “spirit.” It is very easy to be somewhere physically, but not as easy to be somewhere spiritually. He speaks of how sometimes it is difficult to “shake off the village.” Although we do not necessarily live in a village per say, it is often hard to clear your head of worldly matters and just enjoy the nature that you are in. People’s lives are so full of their job and paying bills that people often struggle to make time to just relax and take in the natural beauty of the world around them. Thoreau asks, “what business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?” Here, I think he means that it is basically a waste to be out in nature trying to enjoy it if your mind is stuck elsewhere. Nature is so beautiful that it deserves your undivided attention when you are in its presence; it’s almost an insult to be out in nature and not pay attention to its actual beauty. If only people would realize how beautiful nature is and the attention it deserves, then maybe people would be less likely to harm it.
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