“If you would get exercise, go in search of the springs of life.”
---Henry David Thoreau
We open July’s newsletter with one of Henry David Thoreau’s inspiring quotes, a simple
reminder that you don’t need to be training for an Ironman or the Olympics to benefit
from a gym. Exercise solely to clear your mind so you can better focus on the important
July is the perfect month to honor our homegrown world-renowned philosopher. Henry
David was born July 12, 1817 as David Henry, not Henry David on Virginia Road. He
transposed his names because David Henry aka Henry David was a bit of a rebel from
As Henry David, he set out on July 4, 1845 to live deliberately in a little house (today it
would be an on-trend Tiny House) along the mosquito-infested-albeit-awe-inspiring
shores of Walden Pond. It was during his now infamous two years, two months and two
days there that he acquired the material for ‘Walden,’ his memoir that still resonates
across time and cultures.
On another July day, this time in 1848, HDT was hauled off to jail for refusing to pay his
poll tax, which was already six years in arrears. A poll tax was paid by men for the
privilege to vote. (As women could not vote during this time, they were not expected to
pay a poll tax, and therefore could not become famous by refusing to do so.) HDT said
he would not support a government that supported slavery and war. The Mexican-
American War was in full swing, as was, sadly, slavery.
Though he spent only one night behind bars, (his aunt bailed him out and paid his debt,
which HDT was very upset about because he wanted to prove a point) he came up with
the insightful content for ‘Civil Disobedience,’ another masterpiece.
HDT is going to share some thoughts on each of the following posts. In at least two
cases, HDT aficionados may spot a slight variation from his original work. That’s
because we took license to make a few hairline tweaks to a word or two. We are
positive HDT would not only approve, but would have insisted. Now, the many reasons
to enjoy July!