The quote in the header above is from one of my favorite books, The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame, originally published in 1908. The scene below takes place after Mole decides to hang springcleaning and go explore the riverbank. There he meets the Water Rat, who invites him across the river to his house.
… and the Mole to his surprise and rapture found himself actually seated in the stern of a real boat.
“This has been a wonderful day!” said he, as the Rat shoved off and took to the sculls again. “Do you know, I’ve never been in a boat before in all my life.”
“What?” cried the Rat, open-mouthed. “Never been in a — you never — well, I — what have you been doing, then?”
“Is it so nice as all that?” asked the Mole shyly, though he was quite prepared to believe it as he leant back in his seat and surveyed the cushions, the oars, the rowlocks, and all the fascinating fittings, and felt the boat sway lightly under him.
“Nice? It’s the only thing,” said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward to his stroke. “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,” he went on dreamily: “messing about — in — boats; messing—“
“Look ahead, Rat!” cried the Mole suddenly.
It was too late. The boat struck the bank full tilt. The dreamer, the joyous oarsmen, lay on his back at the bottom of the boat, his heels in the air.
“— about in boats — or with boats,” the Rat went on composedly, picking himself up with a pleasant laugh. “In or out of ‘em, it doesn’t matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that’s the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don’t; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you’re always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you’ve done it there’s always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you’d much better not. Look here! If you’ve really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together, and have a long day of it?”
The Mole waggled his toes from sheer happiness, spread his chest with a sigh of full contentment, and leaned back blissfully into the soft cushions. “What a day I’m having!” he said. “Let us start at once!”