Thoreau’s Walden Pond

Jon said:
“...your thoughts gave me flashbacks to Thoreau's Walden Pond writings...”


Sadly, I am not “Thoreau” and for whatever reason, I have not been a great reader of the classics. Perhaps it has to do with my focus on living life as opposed to reading about it. Perhaps the educational system was going through some turmoil, during my time, and said works were neglected. Somehow I have had an awareness of works such as Thoreau’s. Sadly though, never have I visited his pages. So, anyway Jon, you got me thinking.

How could I best continue pursuing my own life and yet have time to visit Walden Pond? I was reminded of an uncle, who listens to educational tapes from time to time. Perhaps my modern toys could be adapted to more learned pursuits. A Google here, a download there, and my iPod library now possesses an audio version of Walden by Henry David Thoreau. There is something magical about walking through my own fields and forest trails, accompanied by my canine companions, while listening to an oral rendition of Thoreau’s work. Presently I am on chapter nine so will reserver further comment until I have digested the fullness of Walden.

So often people allow their toys and gadgets to rule their lives. When with a modicum of thought and planning, they can be put to use as they were meant to be. To expand our horizons and simplify menial tasks. At the same time it has become abundantly clear over the last year, that with each new possession, one surrenders a little bit more of one’s freedom. There are costs to all “things” that go well beyond what is expressed in the barcode. The security, protection, maintenance and storage of our “things” begins to bracket our lives and often affects what we do, when and for how long. This is especially true when some of our “things” are living, breathing creatures that we care deeply about.

Having lived the majority of my years with few if any encumbrances, I am simply acknowledging the divergence between my present and past lives. There are no regrets. No time waisted, wishing things were the way they used to be. No resentment that Cookie or the House or any number of things, now occupy a sizable portion of my time. For all these things have been of my own choosing and not forced upon me by circumstances or other people. There was adequate forethought as to the consequences of my moves, actions and purchases.

Just yesterday, an old friend asked if I didn’t perhaps “...ever miss playing a day's worth of squash in "the big city" the way you used to?”. To which my reply was “never”. One strives to live in the present. To enjoy and absorb every moment, without greedily clinging to the past or fearing the unfolding of tomorrow. Having previously made clear my belief that this is all there is, it would seem foolish to waist time on any pursuit other than relishing every moment of existence. The past is gone and the end will come soon enough.