Move Over, Henry David!

Henry David Thoreau's cabin near Walden Pond

I’m not sure if something’s wrong with me or if something’s right with me. I took Highway 35W to the Mall of America today and all I could think of was, I wish I were at a cabin in the woods right now. I’ve always loved living in the big city but in the past year or so, I’ve begun to appreciate the allure of small-town living. Oh, I can still drive down busy highways and navigate my way through crowded shopping malls, I just find myself preferring side streets and mom-and-pop shops. Slow and quiet is more my style.

A year ago, I wrote a post about how surprised I was to discover that profanity and vulgarity made me physically uncomfortable. Well, I am even more of a delicate flower these days. Reading, writing and discussing spirituality so much for so long has changed me in ways I didn’t anticipate. I’ve realized that I am moving closer and closer to being in this world but not of it. Detachment (caring deeply, but from an objective, enlightened perspective) is a noble goal, but it can also be a bit disconcerting and can take some getting used to. Ultimately, the more peaceful I feel inside, the more uncomfortable I get around people, events or situations that are anything but peaceful.

I don’t plan on escaping to Walden anytime soon, but I think my days in the big city may be numbered. And I think I like that.


Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?

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SiSe_fullcover_final.inddPhil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.

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2 Responses to “Move Over, Henry David!”

  1. Cathy Krizik Says:

    I grew up outside Boston and used to walk the trails around Walden Pond all the time. There is a reason it inspired such reverence. I used to live in New York City, Boston and Washington DC and now find myself on the majestic California coast. The more present I get in my life, the more I need my outside world to reflect my internal one. I sometimes miss the excitement of a city street but I think I might use that energy as a distraction. These days the tumult of the sea is enough excitement for me. And don’t dismiss the idea of escaping to Walden. Sounds like great idea to me.

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    I like the way you think, Cathy. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

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