Teaching and Learning in a Net-Centric World

On Walden Pond

A portion of the motivation for the 15 years I spent on a homestead farm in Northern Alberta was inspired by reading and rereading of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond as an undergraduate. Thus I was thrilled to take the time with Susan for a leisurely stroll around the pond on a beautiful spring afternoon when we visited Concord Mass yesterday. The guide books suggest that the site is overrun with tourists in the summer, but though hardly a solitary experience, we were pleased to be able to experience the site with only a few more people than Thoreau’s solitary view from 1854.

Of course I forgot the camera, but managed to squeeze off a few flicks with the iphone and present them here in iphotos default slideshow format.

We were a bit surprised that Thoreau didn’t locate his cabin overlooking the lack- but perhaps he enjoyed the zen like view of the lake peaking through the pine and oak trees from its location. The origional site was not unearthed until the 1940’s (as seen in the photo with Susan. The cabin was moved when he left and rebuilt near the parking lot for tourist viewing much later. However one of the oldest friends who had visited the site, attempted to relocate the site and a tradition evolved from the late 19th century to place a rock their in memory of Thoreau’s impact on individual lifes. The quite impressive pile of stone’s lies about 20 feet from the actual site and is a fitting memorial to impact of a great thinker, author and humanitarian.

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1 Comment

  1. March 31, 2009    

    Hi Terry,
    Thoreau has inspired many writers and critics in Canada and internationally. What does it really mean to live life, or for that matter to reflect and find meaning at the end of a life.

    There are times in my life where I just “headed east” or “headed west”. My grandfather on my father’s side, Charlie Hammond, was a survivor of Vimy Ridge, and told me it was okay to head west and he gave me his blessing to go to Edmonton in 1976.

    Previously, in 1971, I headed east from St.Marys near London Ontario and traveled for 6 months to London, England, and Europe. In 1980 I headed to New York. Originally I was born and raised in Ontario. I learned from many people, but the person who introduced me to the books by Thoreau where my grandmother on my mother’s side, and my ex-husband. Both had a deep appreciation of Canadian history and English. I began to appreciate the balance of service, education, travel experiences and people. As I read your Zen reflection and looked out on the water and the land, I recalled some very wonderful awakenings. I probably would never have done the GDDET if it had not been for these experiences and the people who I met along the way. Now I wonder about writing the adventures or having more of them or both.

    Thanks for your post.
    Jo Ann

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