bare feet in the sand

the beauty of nature in a consumer economy

Walden Pond


I went for a walk around Walden Pond with a friend today.  I’m always amazed by how isolated it is.  It is so close to Rte. 2 and all of the construction that is currently going on along it.  But the only noise not by nature that I heard was from the train that runs by the pond.  Seeing the site of Thoreau’s house always makes me think about the past.  Thoreau’s Walden is one of my favorite books (actually along with most of Thoreau’s writings).  Compared to when Thoreau lived there, it is not isolated at all.  In fact there’s a building by the biggest beach, signs and fences everywhere.  Along the walk, we’re constantly being told to stay on the path.  Thoreau was able to wander as he pleased and explore every inch of the much larger forest that surrounded the pond.  What he did was extraordinary even for his times, but I still feel like we can learn a lot from his ideas.  Simplify.  Live in harmony with nature.  Buy and take only what you will use.  I’m not saying that’s how I live or that we should all grow our own food.  But I do think we should be more aware of where our food comes from and consider all of things that live in our basement and never see the light of day.  walden pond


2 thoughts on “Walden Pond

  1. Walden is one of my heroes 🙂 I agree with your sentiments, simplify is a good message 🙂

  2. Thoreau is one of my favorites too. There is certainly irony in having all those fences on his old stomping ground. On the other hand, Walden has gotten so much foot traffic in the last century (partly because of the celebrity status Thoreau bestowed on it—more irony!) that erosion became a major problem by the 1980s. Walden looks as good as it does today, and is as healthy as it is (both pond and forest), thanks to a coordinated restoration strategy begun at that time, part of which is directing traffic in ways that give the new growth a fighting chance.

    Another part of the strategy, it would seem, is limiting the size of the parking lot to limit the press of visitors. I’ve experienced being turned away on a hot summer day when the lot was full. But that bottleneck applies only to motorists–anyone who arrives by foot or bike is welcome, and indeed can get in for free. Thoreau might approve of that.

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