There are some activities in which I engage that are purely for my own enjoyment. “Wandering” (hiking, for example) is one of those activities. Sometimes it feels like I’m wasting time, that I could be more productive doing something else…like volunteering at a food bank or something…something more, well, philanthropic, if you will. Recently a friend of mine told me to look up Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem, “The Apology”. I’m taking this poem as my response to myself if ever I should find myself thinking that spending time out in creation is something to feel badly about…
Think me not unkind and rude,
That I walk alone in grove and glen;
I go to the god of the wood
To fetch his word to men.
Tax not my sloth that I
Fold my arms beside the brook;
Each cloud that floated in the sky
Writes a letter in my book.
Chide me not, laborious band,
For the idle flowers I brought;
Every aster in my hand
Goes home loaded with a thought.
There was never mystery,
But ’tis figured in the flowers,
Was never secret history,
But birds tell it in the bowers.
One harvest from thy field
Homeward brought the oxen strong;
A second crop thine acres yield,
Which I gather in a song.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thanks for that, Ralph.
And thanks, Dennis, too, for letting me in on Ralph’s poem.