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.

Similar posts
  • Our Spanish adventure Unlike most of our voyages, this month I was accompanying my wife Susan on a trip to her conference. She registered in the 16 European Symposium on Suicide Prevention that took place this month in Oviedo, Spain. We took the opportunity to rent a car and bought a GPS with European maps (thank god!) and travelled [...]
  • 1st Birthday – Riverdale’... My Little Free Library celebrated its birthday with a party for its patrons on Saturday. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t terrific, but the rain held off long enough for cake, music and wine! The only challenge is that the party goers each bought books and the Library is already FULL!  I had to open Riverdale Little Free [...]
  • Front Lawn Fun-Raiser concert Susan and I were really pleased to host a fine evening of music last evening here in Riverdale. Our neighbour Cam Neufeld is touring this summer with Jez Hellard & The Djukella Orchestra (Jez and bassist Nye Parsons). Jez and Nye are from the UK and royally entertained us with  a rich collection of origional and traditional  tunes.     [...]
  • Order of Athabasca University Yesterday at Convocation in Athabasca, I was deeply honoured by my former colleagues at Athabasca by being installed into the Order of Athabasca University. Most other members have been individuals from the community who have made exceptional contributions to the University. I was the first Faculty member (other than Dominique Abrioux, who also served as [...]
  • My New Hammer Dulcimer – FINISH... After nearly exactly 3 months on and off work my new 15/14 hammer dulcimer is finished. I’ve have been playing my Dusty Strings 13/12 dulcimer (the numbers stand for the number of notes (or courses) on each bridge) for the past three years. For those not very familiar with this instrument Ardie Davis has a [...]

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Virtual Canuck via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 60 other subscribers

My Blog Archives


  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • SlideShare
  • RSS Feed for Posts
  • Email

Follow me on Twitter