“A lake…is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his nature.”


Turning to nature in times of stress…

Many of us seek out nature to reduce stress, whether it is returning to a favorite beach for a much deserved annual vacation or a simple daily walk in a park. Since most of us aren’t able to travel right now, I thought it was a good time to share a quote I have treasured since my early college days.

Many introductory English courses include Henry David Thoreau’s Walden as a near rite of passage. The image of his cabin is practically a touchstone of the tiny house movement. For me, a description of a lake within his chapter about The Ponds has always stayed dear.

“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature. The fluviatile trees next the shore are the slender eyelashes which fringe it, and the wooded hills and cliffs around are its overhanging brows.”

—Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1862

Walden is a book that can be read over and over, always bringing new connections with the readers’ life and the experiences Thoreau shares. If you want to sit back with it now, here is a nice electronic version of an 1889 edition available for free through Google books.

Above is a copy of mine that is the same Thomas Y. Crowell & Co. edition.


—R.A. Kroft

R.A. Kroft writes about her day-to-day journey in living a smaller, more sustainable life and other topics that interest her.


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