Friday, August 24, 2012

Walden is my elixir

Early morning on the trail at Walden Pond

I've been coming to Walden Pond since the mid-1970s and it remains a place out of time in the very best way. The water is as pristine as ever, especially well out past where most visitors swim. 

But for me, it's more than that. Walden is a place that brings me peace. In times of stress or personal crisis, I always find my way there. And once I do, the feeling is the same ― astonishment that it took me so long to remember that Walden Pond is some of the best medicine I know. It just seems to cure whatever ails me. I come away with a feeling of serenity. I come back to myself. I come home. 

When I first discovered Walden Pond, I was a wild child. I couldn't get enough. I made a promise to Walden then, vowing to swim every single day from June right through October. I can still remember the ritual of it and how exhilarating it was to dive into the cool, crystalline waters well past summer.

Today, I keep my promise to Walden, usually in August, and I like to go alone. I find a cove, settle in and write in my journal and then go for a swim. Afterward, it's nice to sit in the sun and write some more. By late morning I'm ready to head off down the trail and walk along the other side of the pond. Moss and ferns grow lush there and on that side the place feels wilder.

By the time I get back to the car, I am a different person. The stress is gone; I am totally chilled out, grounded and centered is my new point of view. 

Because the view from Walden is my elixir. 

More on Walden Pond in my next post.

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