Walden Pond

A recent work trip afforded me the opportunity to take a trip to Walden Pond in Concord, MA.

Like many, I recall reading Walden by Thoreau in high school. Its message of self-reflection, self-reliance, and social experience resonated with me. I always considered Emerson’s writings to contain the high-minded ideals of Transcendentalism and Thoreau’s their practical application.

Somewhat ironically, Thoreau’s place of solitude and reflection has now been turned into a recreation center with trails and lifeguards. Even so, it still retains its beauty.

Walden Pond

Walden Pond

Surrounding the pond are trails. One of which leads to the cite of Thoreau’s old cabin:

Thoreau's Cabin

Cite of Thoreau’s Cabin

Next to the cite is a sign that greets hikers with a quote from Thoreau’s book:

Welcome to Walden

Welcome to Walden

At the visitors’ center, there is am authentic replica of Thoreau’s cabin:

Thoreau's Cabin

Thoreau’s Cabin

Ironically, Thoreau’s place of escape has been encroached upon by a set of very operational railroad tracks:

Railroad Tracks

Railroad Tracks

With Walden Pond being flanked by railroad tracks on one side and a recreation center on the other, I can’t help but wonder what Thoreau would think of what has become to his place of peaceful solitude…or what he would think of people posting about it on the internet…

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3 comments

  1. He’d hate everyone for preaching upon his ideas and beliefs in self-reliance on such a social thing that removes people from nature and “living off the land”.

    • While that thought occurred to me, I’m not convinced that is entirely true. After all, Thoreau was a fan of travel books. Why not just go to places instead of read books about them? For many, actually traveling to places is not an option. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Walden Pond and share my experiences about it, hopefully in a way that will allow others to imagine what their own visit might be like if they had the same opportunity.

  2. But I’d love to visit the place he loved and lived, even though Emerson lived a walking distance from where he was.

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