lessons learned: on pumpkins and solitude

I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.

~Henry David Thoreaupumpkins

There are many days when I think Thoreau had it right–go off into the woods, live in a simple place, and just be with nature.  On crisp October mornings, I meander around my garden reveling in autumn before I make the drive to work.  This is my season, and I embrace her fully.

Several years ago when I was a preschool teacher, I bought a picture book with selections from Walden. The illustrator used wooden block carving/printing to capture the beautiful and simple environment of the woods, the lake and Thoreau’s cabin.  His home was a small place that he crafted by his own hand–one room, table and chair, bed.  A place for writing and reading, dreaming and being.  One step out the door, and Creation greeted him with open arms.

It has taken me many years to appreciate the blessing of solitude.  In our tendency to rush around this Earth, we often forget to enjoy the world around us, enjoy ourselves, enjoy our Creator.   We embrace the big and the bold and the many, forgetting that there is also a time and place for the small and the subtle and the One.

Thoreau reminds us that our bodies, minds and spirits crave simplicity.  There are lessons to be learned sitting on that pumpkin alone that would get lost while perching amidst a crowd.

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