Walden Once More: Week 13, Day 1

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”

–Henry David Thoreau

Henrietta Davida Thoreau

The achievement of my goal is in sight. I have over 323k in savings. Tomorrow, construction on the Emerson Institute begins.

Henrietta Davida Thoreau

I want everything to have a purpose–even the areas of play and whimsy, for play and whimsy serve as significant a role in the lives of a child, or in any grown person, as work and study.

Henrietta Davida Thoreau

There is no need to separate “work and study” from “play and whimsy,” for we can be serious in our play and whimsical in our study–imagination, creativity, and joy are here to infuse all we do, as are our earnestness, discipline, and devotion.

Henrietta Davida Thoreau

During these last few weeks, since the foundation accepted the proposal, I have felt within me a quickening of purpose. This is what brings about the transformation within me.

Henrietta Davida Thoreau

Now, all that I do serves to bring this dream into form: each paint stroke speaks to me of the colors which these children will spark on this plot of land. Each meal I prepare both fuels my efforts and develops my ability to prepare nutritive and delicious dishes. Each word I write contributes to our funds.

Henrietta Davida Thoreau

And yet. And yet I lose myself in the moment–the paint stroke retains its intrinsic value. The meal, its preparation and its eating, is an act of devotion in and of itself. Each word–each word comes to me unbidden, laying the circles, lines, and crosses of its letters before me, asking to be placed next to this word, before this other word, here in the sentence, and as I follow word after word, I lose myself in the sound of keyboard and voice.

Henrietta Davida Thoreau

Through this, the dream stitches together both working towards and working in–my life consists of ends and means and the two join through me, through my goals, through the understanding and giving over to life.

What is living through me? Is it this dream that has now manifested within me to which I dedicate myself?

Henrietta Davida Thoreau

I have found purpose in my life and this purpose informs and transforms every act.

Nothing is wasted and all is integrated into the continuous moment of achieving and achievement.

Having given myself over to this dream, I am becoming what I hoped I might when I set out on this journey.

Henrietta Davida Thoreau

The work is not for oneself–yet it is the self who changes into something both more and less simultaneously.

I feel the promptings of my heart and mind leading me now from contemplation back into action. Tasks are waiting.

Henrietta Davida Thoreau

Henrietta Davida Thoreau

Henrietta Davida Thoreau

Henrietta Davida Thoreau

And now that the tasks are complete, I fall into contemplation once again.

Henrietta Davida Thoreau

Soon, I will not be taking meals alone. And when I cook, I’ll need to take into consideration the tastes and preferences of others.

Henrietta Davida Thoreau

It will feel so sweet to be able to do something every day for someone else. When I complete my goal, what I will have become is someone who provides a home and a place of growth and learning for children who have no other home. My experiment will yield precious fruit.

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