"... my friends ask what will I do when I get there. Will it not be employment enough to watch the progress of the seasons?"
I've been asked this question myself a few times when I go away on my own little solitary retreats, and even though they're not long enough to watch the progress of the seasons, they're long enough to watch nature in its season, on that particular day or week. And this warm summer day is a gorgeous day to see the beauty of the woods around Walden. I found a shady tree, laid out my blanket under it on a moss carpet, and the view below me is the pond through the trees.
|Thoreau's Walden hut|
|Alcott's Orchard House|
Seeing their houses, how they lived and wrote, their workplaces and walking spaces, these literary legends somehow seem friendly, their wishes and fears relate-able, and the words of their hearts not too long gone. To walk in their paths, see through their windows, standing behind their chairs, literally watching over their ghostly shoulders has been a fascinating trek back in time for me.
I even got to visit their graves, their humble final homes, when I walked through the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, named by Emerson himself, and it is a beautiful resting place for these lovers of nature, laid out as a garden for the living as much as for the dead -
"When these acorns, that are falling at our feet, are oaks overshadowing our children in a remote century, this mute green bank will be full of history: the good, the wise, and the great will have left their names and virtues on the trees..." ~Emerson