Emerson retired from the ministry on this day in 1832. Today's essay from 1842, "Nature," expresses the joy that only someone who has lived through the extremes of New England weather can understand –- the joy of a perfect and bright sunny day outdoors.
"The day, immeasurably long, sleeps over the broad hills and warm wide fields. To have lived through all its sunny hours, seems longevity enough. The solitary places do not seem quite lonely. At the gates of the forest, the surprised man of the world is forced to leave his city estimates of great and small, wise and foolish. The knapsack of custom falls off his back with the first step he makes into these precincts. Here is sanctity which shames our religions, and reality which discredits our heroes. Here we find nature to be the circumstance which dwarfs every other circumstance, and judges like a god all men that come to her."