by Julia Buckley
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, to discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and to be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."
So said Thoreau in his book Walden, and last year I sent this same quote to Bill Cameron when he went to on his own woodsy retreat to do some intensive writing.
Now, because it is our spring break and for once our whole family finds itself together, we are taking a couple of days in the woods, as well. Our budget is about $10.75, so we won't be able to do much more than pay for gas and sit around looking at trees, but the NOTION of being somewhere else, somewhere beautiful and different, is sometimes all it takes to feel refreshed. These photos come from a different visit to a different forest, in days of yore, but I think they still get the point across. :)
Soon I shall be able to post photos from our new hideaway, where I hope to do some writing on my latest book. However, there will be children who want to take walks and find gross things in the dirt, and naturally that must take precedence.
Perhaps, though, the act of investigating the physical world will help to stimulate my cerebral world; I have found in the past that the best ideas came to me when I was relaxed and not inundated with workday stresses. But quitting my job to relax and write is a long way off--after all, I just spent my $10.75. :)
What's your favorite retreat?