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This chapter considers what it means to be in the "fullness of life," but for now I want to clarify the perspective from which the present essay is written. Although the essay follows the general contours of Thoreau's thinking, it is not primarily intended as yet another contribution to the already significant body of secondary literature on Thoreau. Instead, the essay reflects my own relationship with wild nature and how the latter has shaped who I am and who I want to be. In other words, the observations and reflections contained herein are not intended as mere "wissenschaftlich" re-presentations of Thoreau's experiences, but authentic presentations of my own experiences in the Maine woods. Unlike Thoreau, I am a third generation native not only of Maine, but of one of its more remote regions. Thus, while Thoreau's travels in the Maine woods enhanced his awareness of the "wildness" around Concord, much the way a loud report can be said to deepen one's awareness of the silence in which it is imbedded, my own travels—physical and intellectual—to "Concord" and beyond have enhanced my awareness of the Maine woods and of my self. For the past twenty years, I have had the good fortune to live—to dwell—three months each summer in a cabin located in the Northern part of the state.


Published: Jalbert, John E. "Lifeworld and Cartography: Echoes, Footprints, and Other Guideposts to the Self." Ecoscapes: Geographical Patternings of Relations. Eds. Gary Backhaus and John Murungi. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2006.

ISBN 9780739114490; 9780739114506 (pbk.)