Giving Nature Our Attention

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.


3 responses to “Giving Nature Our Attention

  1. I like to go on evening walks with my mom and puppy. Usually we just talk and discuss what is on our minds, or we yell at our dog to drop the goose poop that she has slyly picked up mid-stroll. However, there is time of silence as we are walking, in which I can soak up what I am seeing around me. We walk in our city’s park, and it’s so beautiful in the summer; the pond is glistening in the sun, with trees and flowers in every direction. Getting to go on our evening walks really lets me unwind from the stressful day of sitting at a desk reading or working, and just allows me to open my mind to what God wants me to see: his beautiful creation. He gives us this gift, and so many abuse it; trash littered on the ground, people staying inside to watch television instead of getting outside. It’s a shame that others don’t participate in nature. I think Thoreau was on to something here: walking really does open the spirit to bigger and better things.

  2. I like to go on walks at the park. When I do this it clears my mind. It seems as the world is left behind me with all my worries. I happen to live in the moment and enjoy the things around me. It is kind of like doing meditation. The outdoors tends to be relaxing to me on nice days. I like those days when it isn’t too hot or too cool and there are slight breezes in the wind. There are those times in winter that are nice too when there is the first snowfall and everything is so bright white.

  3. Pingback: Phoneography Challenge: Nature | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

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