4 February 1852

by layman k

11 P.M. — Coming home through the village by this full moonlight, it seems one of the most glorious nights I ever beheld. Though the pure snow is so deep around, the air by contrast perhaps with recent days, is mild and even balmy to my senses, and the snow is still sticky to my feet and hands.   And the sky is the most glorious blue I ever beheld, even a light blue on some sides, as if I actually saw into day, while small white, fleecy clouds, at long intervals, are drifting from west-northwest to south-southeast. If you would know the direction of the wind, look not at the clouds, which are such large bodies and confuse you, but consider in what direction the moon appears to be wading through them. The outlines of the elms were never more distinctly seen than now. It seems a slighting of the gifts of God to go to sleep now; as if we could better afford to close our eyes to daylight, of which we see so much. Has not this blueness of the sky the same cause with the blueness in the holes in the snow, and in sonic distant shadows on the snow? — if, indeed, it is true that the sky is bluer in winter when the ground is covered with snow.

-from the journals of Henry David Thoreau