I had great fun at the first of four Wednesdays-in-September literary walks at Walden Pond yesterday, on the 18th of Elul. I did my homework by rereading Thoreau’s essay “Walking” (1862) while floating around the Pond in my kayak. Easterly wind got me through the first third; then southerly breeze required extra upwind paddling across the short way several times. Typical westerly wind shot me back to the boat ramp just as I read that last paragraph about the light of the Golden Hour.
Park Ranger Travis did an excellent job of leading a discussion of “Walking” as we walked. Topics included sauntering, East and West in Thoreau’s writing, the meanings of “garret,” orientation of Thoreau’s cabin relative to sun and Pond, the water table around Walden, wildness and wilderness, vegetation in kettle ponds, Biblical references in “Walking,” the distance to an uninhabited square mile these days, regaining one’s sanity in the woods, health risks of sitting around at home too much, the Hurricane of ’38, walking meditation, and more.
Eagerly awaiting next homework assignment. Can’t wait till next Wednesday!