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Monday, June 8, 2015

Great Writers of New England: Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau was the first person to write about "nature" in the sense we mean it today. You might say he invented nature. At the time of his writing, civilization had just severed the last ties between nature and humanity. Before this point, nature might not have been considered separate from human experience. By writing about his time on Walden Pond, Thoreau presented nature for the civilized world to appreciate. He made nature preserves and national parks possible.

Thoreau did this momentous work in a cabin near the water. A replica shows that his living arrangement was actually pretty comfortable. It has everything a writer needs. Too much more would be a distraction.

Such a beautiful place to do this kind of work! 

This is the view to Walden Pond from the actual cabin site. It's better to be a little bit away from the water to avoid bugs, which I'm sure there were still plenty of.

Walden Pond is actually so big, a lot of people would consider it a lake. The area closest to the park reception is like a beach and people bring their children with water wings. There are also many places to launch kayaks or just start swimming if that's your thing.

My husband and I preferred to walk around the entire pond and appreciate the beginning of spring, which came late this year. Walden Pond is still an oasis in the middle of civilization. Its beauty can really choke you up! And then the commuter rail goes by at the far end, and the conductor waves to you, and you wave back, and you remember not to take things so seriously.