Tuesday, February 9, 2010

On a grander scale

photo taken in Rocky Mountain National Park this last weekend.

Henry David Thoreau -February 2, 1852:
Sir Francis Head says that in America “the moon looks larger” than in Europe. Here, then, more moonshine is to be expected. Perhaps the sun looks larger also. Such are the advantages of the New World. The same writer says, “the heavens of America appear infinitely higher,” “the stars are brighter.” These, too, are encouraging facts, symbolical of the height to which the philosophy and poetry and religion of her inhabitants may one day soar. At length, perchance, the immaterial heaven will appear as much higher to the American mind, and the intimations that star it will appear as much brighter. For I believe that climate does thus react on man, and that there is something in the mountain air that feeds the spirit and inspires. We shall be more imaginative; we shall be clearer, as our sky, bluer, fresher; broader and more comprehensive in our understanding, like our plains; our intellect on a grander scale, like our thunder and lightning, our rivers and our lakes, and mountains and forests. Are not these advantages? Will not man grow to greater perfection intellectually as well as physically under these influences? Or is it unimportant how many foggy days there are in his life?

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