I went at sundown to the top of Dr. Ripley’s hill & renewed my vows to the Genius of that place. Somewhat of awe, somewhat grand & solemn mingles with the beauty that shines afar around. In the west, where the sun was sinking behind clouds, one pit of splendor lay as in a desert of space, — a deposite of still light, not radiant. Then I beheld the river like God’s love journeying out of the grey past on into the green future. Yet sweet & native as all those fair impressions on that summit fall on the eye & ear, they are not yet mine. I cannot tell why I should feel myself such a stranger in nature. I am a tangent to their sphere, & do not lie level with this beauty. And yet the dictate of the hour is to forget all I have mislearned; to cease from man, & to cast myself again into the vast mould of nature.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks 7:74