Sucking Out The Marrow



“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.” – Henry David Thoreau


I wonder how Mr. Thoreau would feel in today’s world with its global economy, being bombarded with media 24/7, and the pull of social media everywhere. Where in the world could he go to escape it all?


I thought about him quite a bit while hiking through this lovely park just a mere 40 minutes South of us.


Given my age with a child grown and running a business out of our home, I am privileged with the opportunity to carve out moments of solitude and also to indulge in interests that serve to “suck all the marrow out of life” for me.


But there are days when I do have chores to deal with or other unavoidable events from the outside world that seep in and occasionally overwhelm.


I need to take a lesson from these old trees and the undergrowth here in this park.


You see its been a very, very dry Spring & Summer here in Seattle, and the plants show it.


In the dark shady areas, it is still beautifully green, though if you look close you will see many plants have already dried up and moved to their next stage. Several of the trees in this park are over 100 years old. They certainly know more than I!


But the environment here seems to take it all in stride as if to say “oh well, its been a dry year and we’ve lost some of our neighbors. This too shall pass.”


Midway through the hiking trail I usually take when visiting here, is a bluff overlooking the Puget Sound. Often, if you watch carefully, you will see an Eagle sitting in her nest. Looking out there are usually a few sailboats gliding by. The tangle of branches in the dark shadows of the first half of the trail – looking like the tangle of thoughts in my mind – suddenly open to this bluff and my mind clears. Perhaps Thoreau was on to something here!


Table Questions

What does it mean for you to “suck all the marrow out of life”?

What does that for you?

About the photos: All taken at Discovery Park located in Seattle, WA. Many, many years ago while training for my first marathon, my trainer had me meet him at this park. I had never been and was quite taken by it. It is a frequent place where Brian & I take our walks.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate the time you took to be here.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

About Carol

Thank you in advance for respecting my art. All the images and text posted to this blog are owned my me and protected by copyright law. Copying any of the content here without permission is against the law and you know, not cool. Many thanks again.
This entry was posted in Inspirational, photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Sucking Out The Marrow

  1. Jana Vargas says:

    Our daughter now lives 15 minutes from Thoreau’s Walden Pond and she visited there for the first time last weekend, how synchronous with your post! – She learned that while he did live in those woods for one year in a very spartan and tiny cabin, it was a mere mile from his parents home! – So even as he sought nature and a primitive life he remained connected to the vibrant Cambridge/Boston option as well. You show how we too can remain in the busy throws of life, but still find timeless beauty and simple lessons very nearby. Thank you –

  2. Funny we must be thinking of each other this morning, as I was reading this I saw a pop-up with an e-mail from you. Hi there good morning, love that area you were in. My suck out the marrow is solace, I need it and since being retired I can do that most days. I have cut social media, even the news will go mute if I desire to not hear what is happening. We all need to find those times and I think I do that well. Now to go and read my sweet e-mail. Have a perfect day.

  3. Barb says:

    Quite simply for me, it’s a quiet afternoon in my home. Especially right now, in late August and September, when the sun is just beginning to get lower in the sky, and the light slants in and pours across the dining room table. The lake has gone quiet, the smell of ripening fields permeates the air, and birds are flitting everywhere … .

Comments are closed.