In a recently acquired book from the Amazon second hand pickings, which barely looks to have been opened, there is a lovely, quite personalized message on the front cover which contains the quote
“Let us spend one day as deliberately as Nature, and not be thrown off the track by every nutshell and mosquito's wing that falls on the rails.”
I thought about this quote and have shared it with a couple of people and while we reflected on the beauty of the words we did not give a lot of thought to the meaning that might lie behind them. So I started to wonder where the quote came from and what it might mean.
Given the context, that it is quoted in a book gifted to a cousin that had spent what I presume is holiday time with extended family,I would guess that it was intended to remind the person to take time out of the busy life schedule to which so many people adhere. A schedule that is rarely consistent except for that very fact it is inconsistent. It seems to be a reminder about the consistency of nature, deliberate and focused and not distracted by the events that can unfold like the dropping of a pine cone, nutshell or something as tiny as the mosquito's wing. Life as we know is rarely like that. It may have peaceful interludes. Life, for most, is generally filled with a multitude of tasks and we may sometimes find ourselves wishing that we did not have to get back on the merry go round of life and work and commitments once we step off for a brief reprieve.
More than any of that though I believe it is a reminder, a timely reminder that it is important to take the time out to focus, give intentionality to our day and purpose. It calls us to go with the flow a little less so that when the inevitable distractions that so easily come are upon us they will merely be a distraction and not throw us off completley. Life is filled with distractions, with events that completely throw us off our place, with joys and sorrows that change us in a multitude of ways. Life is never stagnant but with a grounding, a focus it can become easier to stay on or get back on the tracks of life.
Nature, we are reminded in this quote by Thoreau, is very deliberate, very focused and all of the events that occur in nature change the landscape, even the view but it remains constant and returns to its peaceful presence. Changed, refocused but not completely derailed. Nature reminds us of many constants, shows us how to weather storms and celebrate the beautiful days. Life's lessons exist all around us, sometimes all that is required is the time to stop, to look, to appreciate. To deliberately deliberate.