To both Emerson and Thoreau, nature was an essential part of life and an integral subject in their literary works. Both authors believed nature to have therapeutic, often even religious qualities, and found the outdoors to be their temple. Both wrote passionately about every detail of the land, and found inspiration and beauty in every season. Nature, Emerson and Thoreau believed, was often overlooked and taken for granted by the masses. They believed mankind toiled and suffered in their desire for material pursuits, when happiness could be achieved by living a simple life.
Emerson writes of his religious revelations in nature to the greatest extent. In these "plantations of God,"" he finds himself enlightened as to the presence and nature of a higher being, and his own place within the universe that has been created for him. Emerson's "occult relationship between man and vegetable- presents a strange phenomenon that he somehow ties into a Christian faith. His ability to see and be seen by everything around him converts Emerson into a "transparent eyeball."" "The currents of the Universal Being circulate through me,"" he says. "I am part or particle of God."" In this way, nature essentially acts as a medium by which Emerson can more easily understand, witness, and communicate with God.
Thoreau, likewise, finds nature to clarify man's relationship with himself and his creator. Describing a lake, he says, "It is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature."" Both authors considered the outdoors to be their temple; Thoreau even decides to live in seclusion and simplicity on Walden Pond. For Emerson, the emotions that are invoked by immersing himself in nature are comparable to those that "an angel might share."".
Each season, even each moment, these authors experienced in nature was one in which they took pleasure and found beauty. There was no season that they seemed to favor over another, no day that they could distinguish as more superior than the last or that would be more spectacular than the next.