Water ripples on the surface of Ežezers Lake in the Latgale region, Latvia
© Eaglewood Films/Nimi
A day to take a moment
'A field of water betrays the spirit that is in the air. It is continually receiving new life and motion from above. It is intermediate between land and sky.' So said American philosopher Henry David Thoreau. He immortalized Walden Pond from Concord, Massachusetts, but he could have been describing this calming image from Ežezers Lake in Latvia. Today, the birthday of that famous American advocate for pursuing a simple life is also celebrated as National Simplicity Day in America. It is an annual reminder to unplug, slow down, step back, and consider your life. Thoreau’s most famous work, 'Walden,' is his account of the two years, two months, and two days he spent away from society in a cabin in the woods by Walden Pond in Massachusetts. Through this work he encourages us to take a step back and look for ways to simplify our lives. 'Our life is frittered away by detail…,' Thoreau observed, 'simplify, simplify.'
This advice is as sound today as it was 165 years ago when it appeared in print. Some things you can do to mark the day are unplug from your devices (even this one—eventually); declutter your house; take a walk in the woods; and maybe even reread 'Walden.'