Speaking a Word for Nature, For Absolute Freedom & Wildness: Thoreau’s “Walking” and Walking the Woods

A Weekend Program at
La Terre Institute for Community and Ecology
22500 Rue La Terre, Kiln, MS. 
May 4-6, 2019

Henry David Thoreau was one of the greatest American nature   writers and foremost American philosophers. He was a vehement and eloquent defender of wildness and freedom. This weekend program will focus on discussion of “Walking,” perhaps his greatest essay, and on walking through the woods in the spirit of that work. In “Walking,” Thoreau proclaims, “I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness,” “in Wildness is the preservation of the World,” and “Life consists with wildness. The most alive is the wildest.” Thoreau taught that we must strive to be fully awake to everything that we experience. He concludes “Walking” with the hope that “one day the sun shall shine more brightly than ever” and “light up our whole lives with a great awakening light.”
Saturday will be divided between discussion sessions and periods of walking, reflection, and meditation. Participants are invited to camp Saturday night. Sunday will be devoted to informal discussions, a meditation group, and longer walks, including hikes to the ancient cypress and down the creek. All participants are expected to register before the day of the program and to arrive before noon on Saturday. They should bring a print copy of the text, which can be found in most anthologies of Thoreau’s works and at several sites online.
The program will be held at La Terre Institute on 87 wooded acres on Bayou La Terre near Dedeaux, MS., about 65 miles from New Orleans. Participants should bring tents, personal items and flashlights, in addition to food for potluck meals. There is no cost for the program, though contributions are appreciated. Participants are invited to volunteer for future trail work, building and other projects, for program planning and publicity, and to teach, coteach or facilitate future programs.

Please email surregionalist@bellsouth.net to register and receive further information.


11:00-Noon     Arrival and Introductions
Noon-1:30       Lunch and Discussion I
1:30-3:30         Walking, Reflection, Meditation
3:30-5:00         Discussion II
5:00-6:30         Walking, Reflection, Meditation
6:30-8:00         Dinner and Discussion III
8:00-9:00         Bonfire
9:00                 Departure or Camping


The day will be devoted to informal activities, walks, and longer hikes.

Departure time will be 5:00 PM.

Essential Information for Participants and Visitors

Directions to La Terre Institute