James Engell Gurney Professor of English, Harvard University
As if he had always been looking to the future, Thoreau’s idea of health remains relevant. He senses the danger of environmentally-linked and environmentally-caused illness. He promotes wellness of body, mind, and spirit together, which achieves harmony with nature through diet, exercise, sensory contact, and ethical self-reflection. The idea of human health in relation to nature informs all that he wrote and appears for two decades throughout his journal.