Walden Pond

Today being my self-imposed day of rest, I left early with a sack lunch for Concord, Mass., to take a walk through the Walden Pond Reservation. This meant boarding the T and then switching to the commuter rail at North Station for the remainder of the journey to Concord. I left home at 8:15 and was in Concord by 9:30.

Walden Pond is a mile outside of town, though I made an inadvertent detour by turning the wrong way on Thoreau Street and walking for a good ways through a wealthy suburb before realizing that I was not going in the right direction. I backtracked through town, passed the rail station, and out across, finally ending up on the boarders of the reservation.

Walden Pond

(click on the photograph for the complete album)

I admit that I know very little about Henry David Thoreau, nor have I made any serious study of the transcendentalist movement. The site, however, is beautiful and--despite its well-trodden paths--reminded me of Northern Michigan, particularly the small lake systems I used to canoe in the Upper Peninsula. And I was also reminded of my time at the Oregon Extension, since Thoreau's retreat to Walden Pond was one of the early inspirations for their own educational project.

I stopped for lunch on the far side of the lake, away from the visitor's center. There were several intrepid souls swimming in the water! The guy working at the gift shop later told me told me they swim till it freezes over out there, so I guess this wasn't much different than high summer for them. Sitting by the lake, I caught up on some correspondence and got slightly sun-burnt on the back of my neck for my troubles.

In the park shop, I bought a Dover edition of Margaret Fuller's Women in the Nineteenth Century (and early American feminist tract), which I started reading on the train home. My favorite quote so far? "We would have every path open to woman as freely as to man . . . a ravishing harmony of the spheres would ensue"! (16).

I have to say, of all the results of women's equality, I never put "ravishing harmony of the spheres" on my list . . . but whatever it is, it sounds good to me!

I will definitely have to go back when the leaves start to turn.

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