So, this is somewhat keeping in the idea of getting outside: WF and I are going to head to the airport, board a plane, fly, take a commuter rail line, walk to our accommodation, sleep, eat, walk a bit more, and THEN...
Visit Walden Pond.
Ha. As Thoreau famously said: Simplify, Simplify, Simplify! Right? Right.
It’s actually part of a yearly visit to WF’s sister and her family, including 2 adorable nieces. We can’t be gone long, so this little Concord/Walden trip is my tiny attempt at adventure on top of the very nice family visit. This is about the only travel WF does willingly anymore, so we have to take what we can get.
Of course, I’ve read and enjoyed Walden (years ago), but am rather far removed from my original Thoreau worship stage. I also have no illusions about what we will find when we dash to the Pond for a quick glimpse, but I still think it will be a worthy stop. I know it’s not really “wilderness,” but I’m intrigued by the phenomenon of what Walden has inspired people to do over the years and do want to see where it all began.
I’ve been reading “Walden Pond: A History” over the past year, purchased used in Harvard Square last year during the yearly visit. It’s a rather dry look at land-use and thoughts about how to best enjoy the Pond over the years (ie giant railroad sponsored picnic grounds? Cheesy 1960’s bathing houses? etc) but the bits of ephemera and “real life” glimpse of how Thoreau and Emerson used and visited the pond in the 1880’s is interesting. Being that I AM fairly well stuck inside these days, the idea of a “peripatetic wandering” and enthusiastic nature study is a good reminder of what I once did more often, and what Thoreau definitely glorified in his writings.
Mr. Maynard quoting Thoreau:
“Now or Never! You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.”
Indeed, Mr. Thoreau. I’ve dug out my old copy of Walden (there are at least 3 copies in our house, another irony) and will likely begin my study anew. Just in time..