A Thoreau-ly pleasant afternoon

We went to the woods because I wanted Molly to play the cello deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and to see if we could learn what it had to teach and not, when we came to die, to discover we had not lived.

She played obediently at first, placed her end pin carefully in the soft ground and balanced herself precariously on the folding chair we’d brought along.

Slowly, though, as she pulled her bow across the strings and the melancholy notes of Ashokan Farewell drifted through the trees, she stopped posing for the camera and began to play music.

Leaves rustled and the river gurgled against the rocks. A startled fisherman and his young son waved from a passing boat.

The sun lit a canopy of leaves.

Then, to our utter delight, an outspoken turkey joined in, and they carried on, cellist and bird, in a sweet duet that celebrated both the magic of moments and the achingly beautiful passage of time.

Molly and the canoe
“Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains.”
Molly in the woods on the path
“The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.”
Molly in the woods
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
Molly and her cello in the woods
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

7 thoughts on “A Thoreau-ly pleasant afternoon

  1. What a sweet duet. And how lovely you’ve added to the story with your words. (And those of Mr. Thoreau, too; of course.) And what a gracious cellist. I just loved this.

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