from Pilgrim at Tinker's Creek by Annie Dillard:
In summer I stalk. Summer leaves obscure, heat dazzles and creatures hide from the red-eyed sun, and me. I have to seek things out. The creatures I seek have several senses and free will; it becomes apparent that they do not wish to be seen. I can stalk them in either of two ways. The first is not what you think of as true stalking, but it is the via negativa, and as fruitful as actual pursuit. When I stalk this way I take my stand on a bridge and wait, emptied. I put myself in the way of the creature's passing, like spring Eskimos at a seal's breathing hole. Something might come; something might go. I am Newton under the apple tree, Buddha under the bo. Stalking the other way, I forge my own passage, seeking the creature. I wander the banks; what I find I follow, doggedly, like the Eskimos haunting the caribou herds. I am Wilson squinting after the traces of electron in a cloud chamber; I am Jacob at Peniel wrestling with the angel.
As I type the word friendship just now, I see it as a ship of friends, a Friend Ship. I like it.
From I Am A Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter.
But our glory as human beings is that, thanks to being beings with brains complicated enough to allow us to have friends and to feel love, we get the bonus of experiencing the vast world around us, which is to say, we get consciousness. Not a bad deal at all.
Thoreau in his essay "Walking" -
I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits unless I spend four hours a day at least - and it is commonly more than that - sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields absolutely free from all worldly engagements.