We can never surprise nature in a corner . . . a walk along Fleam Dyke to Mutlow Hill

The woods on the way to the dyke
Last Monday, I cycled over to Fleam Dyke and then walked along it to Mutlow Hill where I ate my sandwiches and had a flask of warming tea. Much needed it was too, because it was a pretty cold day.  I was in what I can only describe as a "New England Transcendentalist" mood and I had, along with my lunch, packed my copy of Emerson's Essays. The passage I was particularly thinking about as I walked can be found in his talk of 1841, “The Method of Nature”. In it he said:

We can never surprise nature in a corner; never find the end of a thread; never tell where to set the first stone. The bird hastens to lay her egg: the egg hastens to be a bird. The wholeness we admire in the order of the world, is the result of infinite distribution. Its smoothness is the smoothness of the pitch of the cataract. Its permanence is a perpetual inchoation. Every natural fact is an emanation, and that from which it emanates is an emanation also, and from every emanation is a new emanation. If anything could stand still, it would be crushed and dissipated by the torrent it resisted, and if it were a mind, would be crazed; as insane persons are those who hold fast to one thought, and do not flow with the course of nature.  

The reading makes another appearance in tomorrow's address but, in the meantime, I leave you with a few photos from the day. Given my mood I couldn't resist giving most of them something of a early to mid-nineteenth-century feel.  As always, just click on a picture to enlarge it.

The woods on the way to the dyke
The woods on the way to the dyke
A panorama showing the north western end of the dyke
The north western end of the dyke
Fleam Dyke looking south east
Fleam Dyke looking south east
Looking back north west along Fleam Dyke 
Fleam Dyke
Looking north west along Fleam Dyke 
Looking north west along Fleam Dyke. Mutlow Hill is just over the horizon
Panorama of Mutlow Hill looking south east
Mutlow Hill looking south east
Mutlow Hill looking north west
Mutlow Hill
Fleam Dyke looking north west as I began my walk home
Post a Comment