Sunday, October 10, 2004


"Only that day dawns to which we are awake," writes Thoreau at the end of Walden. The dawns these last two mornings have been especially lovely, with a waning crescent moon slipping past Venus in the eastern sky. I completely forgot it was Columbus Day, and my early walk to the college this morning was marked by unusual silence and solitude.

"The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us," says Thoreau. Amid the national and international hubbub and violence of recent months one latches onto faint light -- that eyelash thin slip of moon, that welcoming star -- that "morrow which mere lapse of time can never make to dawn."