I suppose that this value [in walking], in my case, is equivalent to what others get by churchgoing and prayer. I come home to my solitary woodland walk as the homesick go home. I thus dispose of the superfluous and see things as they are, grand and beautiful. I have told many that I walk every day about half the daylight, but I think they do not believe it. I wish to get the Concord, the Massachusetts, the America, out of my head and be sane a part of every day.
— Thoreau’s Journal, January 7, 1857
Thoreau also avers (in “Walking”) that when we move away from knowledge of facts toward “Sympathy with Intelligence” (toward prayer?) we become “a child of the mist.” We dream (or see) well beyond the constraints of school or village philosophy, perhaps with Hamlet (. . . more than is dreamt of in . . . ) — and see yet through a glass darkly: “Live free, child of the mist — and with respect to knowledge we are all children of the mist” (para 77).