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On Walden Pond

waldenpondPhoto: (cc) Miguel Vieira/Flickr

I love Walden Pond. I’ve been there a few times now, and this last visit I even swam in it. The pond was what I have deemed “crispy cold.” But the water was so clear, so beautiful and inviting. I have learned to love the feel of swimming in fresh water—there is a softness about it that is missing in swimming pools and oceans. But Walden is so clean because it’s been protected, thanks to Henry David Thoreau, who built his famous little cabin right by it.

What I also love about visiting Walden, though, is that the images in our heads about what it must have been like in Thoreau’s day are really not true. I don’t know about you, but I always pictured Walden as it is now—wooded, remote, and pristine. In fact, one learns when one visits and tours that, when Thoreau lived there, all the trees had been cut down for fuel and construction. There is a trail that goes around the pond to the site of the cabin, and the second thing you notice is that it’s right by the railroad tracks! (They were already there in Thoreau’s time). But the first thing you notice is a pile of rocks. When you read the sign, you realize that these are stones brought by people from around the world to honor Thoreau and what he represented—living the simple life.

But again, “simple” may not always be what it seems. As I was walking down to the pond I overheard a woman telling her guest that Thoreau walked 2 miles home for lunch with his mother every day…which is probably why his little one room cabin didn’t have a kitchen in it! Ahhh, the simple life which we all long for—which is like going back to childhood where all good things are provided for by Mom.

Without Thoreau, Walden might not have been protected. The trees might not have grown back and the water might not have become so clean. But without his mother, Thoreau probably would have starved.

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10 Responses to On Walden Pond

  1. Jean Nick June 3, 2009 at 11:42 am #

    LOL. Next time my home-from-college and reverted-to-helpless kids ask me what’s for dinner when I get home from a long day at work I’ll get another chuckle out of this 🙂

  2. cw June 3, 2009 at 12:54 pm #

    ahhh just so many a man.. all about the independence, all about the solitude, all about the tranquility but they owe it all to the woman who makes it all possible. Not such a loaner, not such an independent person- he was camping in someone else’s backyard. Though I am glad that Walden Pond – thanks to our romanticism of what Thoreau concocted in his own imagination led to the restoration of a beautiful pond.
    I, however, can say that I lived in a two room building that we built ourselves on land we own with no running water, no kitchen, no constant electricity ( we used a generator to heat up the building in the winter or cool it down in the summer for a few hours till we were able to sleep ( then let it run itself off) for three years. It was wonderful to hear owls, and chuck-wills-widows most nights in the spring and summer and I still miss sleeping with the windows open. Made my own lunch.

  3. MC June 3, 2009 at 1:10 pm #

    I’ve been to Walden Ponds many times…..the place is haunted. It makes the hair on my neck stand up evertime i sit on the stone wall and look out across the pond.

  4. Jake June 3, 2009 at 2:11 pm #

    why do you feel Walden Ponds is haunted? What are you basing your opinion from?

    Just curious…….

  5. Amy June 4, 2009 at 3:10 pm #

    I need to go back and read the book….but I do not remember any mention of having lunch w/his mother. He does document his days in quite a detailed manner. To my recollection…there was no mention of lunch w/mother. As a matter of fact, I thought he was estranged from his family and friends d/t what was considered quite eccentric behavior. I’m not sure anyone should assume that this is an historic fact based on one statement overheard while eavesdropping on a conversation.

  6. maria (farm country kitchen) June 4, 2009 at 6:27 pm #

    Any Thoreau experts out there who know the truth?

  7. CW June 5, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    according to Richard Smith who seems to be pretty much a expert on Thoreau and delivered a speach of fact &fiction, “Thoreau’s First Year at Wladen Pond” at the Thoreau Society Annual Gathering, on July 14, 2007 and I insert from his artical-
    “[42] Yes, Thoreau did enjoy meals at the homes of his family and friends. Non-Thoreauvians like to point this out, as if Henry was somehow living a lie by eating out with his friends. He mentions these arrangements in the book, that his dining out was something he had “always done” and would, no doubt, continue to do in the future. He didn’t view this as hypocritical. Why would he? But, somehow over the years, this dining out with friends has become “raiding the family cookie jar” or, the ever-popular “bounding through the fields every time the Emersons’ dinner bell would ring.”

  8. Ted Blizzard June 10, 2009 at 4:33 pm #

    I ride my bike there for lunch many times it is only 5 miles away from my work… and make my own simple lunch 🙂

  9. Sharon July 22, 2009 at 8:35 am #

    Walden Pond is a fantastic & Romantic place to be, nice, clam peaceful & very tranquil, it always puts us in the mood when were there, beautiful surroundings of a natural environment. B4 we used to struggle in our relationship until we started purcchasing viagra off the net from http://www.viagranow.me.uk, together with walden ponds and the products off the net, it mounts up to be a perfect destination.

  10. MV September 15, 2009 at 4:16 pm #

    I would like to know how can I keep green pasta pesto

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