Saturday, January 15, 2011

The New Frontier?

Many years ago, I was fortunate to study a semester at Walden Pond in Massachusetts. There were sixteen students, one professor, and an old hunting lodge that served as our dorm and living space. The semester was dedicated to reading the works of Henry David Thoreau and visiting some of the places he visited. Needless to say, it was the highlight of my time in college.

Today I was walking through the library in town and came across a book that had several of Thoreau's works in it. I remember reading his essay "Walking" in college and really enjoyed it. Since it was only about thirty pages, I started reading it again today and absolutely loved it. I only got through a few pages, and will read the rest when I get a chance.

One particular point Thoreau was making at one point in the essay is how, whenever he would go for walks, his internal compass would lead him to the southwest. Thoreau, at the time, understood that the frontier and wilderness was west, and he longed for these places. He seemed pleased by the fact that his wanderings often set him in that direction. "In Wildness is Preservation of the World," he stated.

Now that I am in California, and all too often feel bogged down by where and when I can explore, I am here to expand on Thoreau's famous quote. I hereby declare:

"In Space is the Preservation of the World!"

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