The Thoreauvian Challenge

thoreau

I invite any and all of you to join me in the Thoreauvian Challenge; a dare to keep a daily record of the August wilderness around us. You can do so online (on wordpress, facebook, twitter, wherever), privately (in letters, journals, your brain), or verbally.

If you choose to accept, write (or speak, or think) some sentences or paragraphs or syllables on what you encounter within your daily doings. These should be centered around interactions with the non-human as much as possible.

The goal is to be a medium. An open jar. To consider oneself as an accomplice–a breathing, locomotive, blood-pumping part within a home, a neighborhood, an ecosystem.

fireflies

So, I’ll start. 1 August, 2013:

I biked to work and introduced the summer camp kids to some medicinal herbs. We discussed the hedgehoggish appearance of echinacea; borage’s cucumber flavor; the stickiness of calendula; the gentle flannel of mullein.Β 

A hedgehog in a fieldechinacea hedgehog

Hedgehog vs. Echinacea.Β 

I found a tiger swallowtail butterfly trapped in the ceiling of a greenhouse. It beat itself against the opaque glass and seemed unable to differentiate it from air. I got a broom to try to shoo it away but was waylaid by customers.

There were so many honey- and bumblebees in the catmint. Orange aphids sucked on potted swamp milkweed and I killed them–the aphids, the color of butterfly weed blooms–between my thumb and first finger.

Falling asleep as I write. More tomorrow!

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8 responses

  1. I do this in my mind, yes–and at other times, in a journal. It’s calming.
    Today I saw a female hummingbird perched on my garden fence. It was raining. I’ve never seen a hummer in the rain before.
    Small wonders.

    • Hi Ann,

      How wonderful to see a hummingbird–especially one in the rain. I’ve yet to see one in Boston, though I hear that they love one of my neighbor’s trumpet vines in the victory gardens. Hummingbirds across the street from Fenway Park; small wonders indeed.

      Many thanks for following!

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