Sunday Best – March 24, 2019

Youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon… and at length the middle-aged man concludes to build a woodshed with them.

 – Henry David Thoreau


I’ve always had a fraught relationship with Thoreau, who seemed to require harsh critique and dismissal in his writing before finding glimmers of hope and truth and love. But a friend once gently noted that this might be as much due to my reading as to Thoreau’s writing, and lo and behold, that’s true.

My first reading of the passage above, inspired by this week’s terrific equinox/full moon combination, was a negative one. It spoke to me of unfulfilled dreams, of the practical overwhelming the magnificent, of Thoreau’s own “quiet desperation,” of giving up.

Look again.

It also speaks to turning fanciful explorations into something real, and useful and durable. It might even say that there is nothing real and durable that does not also contain magnificent dreams.

Both can be true, of course. The moon is a hunk of debris that orbits around our planet. It is also the celestial object that lights our nights, shifts our seas, and inspires our hearts and minds.

Both a woodshed and a bridge to eternity.

Dear friends, today let’s look up!

See the divine dreams that live in our woodsheds.

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