Recently, I visited Ralph Waldo Emerson’s house in Concord, MA, which has the chair that Emerson sat in while he wrote his famous essay “Nature.” As a fan of what Anne Fadiman calls “You-Are-There Reading” I had to reacquaint myself with this wonderful piece. When it was published in 1836, it startled and confused the public (xxii), which found it rather mystical. Emerson relies on revelation rather than logic. He writes, “. . . if our own life flowed with the right energy, we should shame the brook” (387) and “Nature is loved by what is best in us” (387).
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1981), 386.