This is the handwritten text of the wonderful book by Henry David Thoreau taken at the Thoreau Institute this past summer when I was there.
This week, I am listening to the audio book as I drive to and from work. Audio books are a new experience for me because, frankly, listening to someone read makes me really sleepy. Really Sleepy. But recently, I have learned to listen and not doze off. (Really good since I am driving... don't you think??) This has added a whole new world for me and given my day that much more richness.
I have read this book no less than a half dozen times in as many years. Every time I read it, I come away more inspired and questioning my lifestyle and choices That Much More. The one thing that really has struck me this time is the awareness of what Thoreau defines as simplicity. He doesn't. Really, he doesn't. Rather, he states what it is for him and then acknowledges that everyone has their own idea of what this means. And, frankly, that this is enough.
As I have thought about this book, I have been considering my own choices and my life. I have written a number of times about how I want to simplify --- cut my attachments --- live a more concentrated life. And, I have written about how the time I spent on Walden Pond opened my eyes to what I was missing around me in my haste and hurry.
It has been very frustating to me that I keep running and running... and that life is still too busy to meet my hopes. As I have listened this week, however, it has dawned on me that simplicity doesn't happen all at once. No goal does. Not losing weight. Not saving money. Not even falling in love. Nopers. It happens with a series of single choices --- a minute, no, a second at a time. My frustration is falling away. I am proud of what has been accomplished. And, I am glad to keep taking that one step, making that one choice, until I can attain my goal.
We are all in the process of becoming, aren't we, as my friend Brenda has stated. Keeping this idea in front of me, well, gives me hope.