Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
New York: Scribner, 1921
August - 1839 -- Yet, after all, the really efficient laborer will be found not to crowd his day with work, but will saunter to his task surrounded by a wide halo of ease and leisure, and then but do what he loves best. He is anxious only about the fruitful kernels of time. Though the hen should sit all day, she could lay only one egg, and, besides, would not have picked up materials for another.
Let a man take time enough for the most trivial deed, though it may be for the paring of his nails. The buds swell imperceptibly, without hurry or confusion, as if the short spring days were an eternity. --Then spend an age in whetting thy desire, Thou need’st not hasten if thou dost stand fast.
Some hours seem not to be occasion for any deed, but for resolves to draw breath in. We do not directly go about the execution of the purpose that thrills us, but shut our doors behind us, and ramble with prepared mind, as if the half were already done. Our resolution is taking root or hold on the earth then, as seed first send a shoot downward which is fed by their own albumen, ere they send one upward to the light.