Who has not had to read Walden by Henry David Thoreau in high school? Let’s face it; his writing made Charles Dickens fun. But he is an icon so I took the opportunity to see what Walden Pond was all about.
For those who have been spared his dry prescriptive writing, here’s a synopsis.
In 1845, when he was about 27, Thoreau went to live at Walden Pond outside of Concord, MA. He built a cabin and stayed for two years, keeping a journal of his thoughts and observations. He was hardly a hermit and had many visitors. He lived on a wooded lot owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Thoreau admired Emerson’s essay, Nature, which said that each person should find a relationship with the natural world.
He also wrote Civil Disobedience in 1949. Both Gandhi and Martin Luther King used his writings for their work.
It’s a small pond in Walden Pond State Reservation. I met a woman working on her laptop on the shores of the pond and wondered what Thoreau would have thought of that juxtaposition. Children swam in the roped off area and others did laps, looking like they were serious swimmers.
I walked around the pond which took less than an hour. This is the cabin site which was rediscovered in the 1940s.