Spring into Transcendental Awareness

Getting out into nature gives a much-needed break

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I think all the dead leaves on the ground remind me of life. You’ll be happy and green for a little bit, but then it’ll all go away and you’ll turn brown.

— Brittany Glowczewski

Earlier this year, Mrs. Cook’s English III classes had the opportunity to go outside during their studies of romantic American literature. While most of the students initially thought that “romantic literature” was tales of love, many of them learned that this literary tradition from the early nineteenth century celebrates individuals with an emphasis on the inner life. Transcendentalism, a German offshoot of romanticism, seeks truth through intuition: the type of knowing that seems to come from a source beyond the five senses.¬†One of the ways that transcendentalists looked for truth is by being out in nature and thinking about how it connects to and speaks about life.

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“I hear the birds. They sound angry from us invading their space. They probably will be fine when we leave.”

— Noah Korokis

So second and third hour imitated Henry David Thoreau, an author from the early 1800s who spent two years living in a cabin that he built in the woods. His collection of essays about life is called¬†Walden and is named after the pond near his cabin.Although Mrs. Cook’s classes didn’t journey to Concord, Massachusetts, the sight of the original Walden Pond, they did get to walk down to the outdoor classroom behind Fredericktown Intermediate School. Alongside this article are some of their original observations of nature through their senses and what those observations can teach about life beyond the senses.

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“I see a little hut made out of fallen branches, big enough to hide a person. I hear the leaves, crunching under my feet as I walk. It’s calming in a way that is serene and enjoyable.

— Ariahna Green

Now that the weather is a little warmer, take a minute or two. Get outside. Reconnect with your inner self and think for a bit. It’ll help you recharge for the last few weeks of the semester.