This post is long overdue. I went to Concord, MA on June 14 to visit Walden Pond and Sleepyhollow Cemetery.
The first thing I did after finally finding a parking spot at Walden Pond (State Park) was use the restroom. I walked in and immediately saw a woman's bare ass; she was putting on her bathing suit right by the sink. She did not even take the time to use one of the stalls. My trip was off to an interesting start!
I checked out the replica of Thoreau's cabin which is situated near the parking lot. It holds a bed, small table, writing desk and chair, small stove, fireplace and rocking chair. It was all that he needed.
Then, I began the hike around Walden Pond. Lots of families were enjoying the water and hiking trails. I'm sure that Thoreau would love that people are getting outside and enjoying nature. However, it was not very tranquil.
I spent a lot of time at the site where his actual cabin was. The cabin spot is designated by nine small stone posts that outline the location. Small, yes, but it was enough. I walked into the center of the posts where there is a stone on the ground that indicates below it is the actual stone foundation for Thoreau's hearth.
I stood there and closed my eyes for a moment. I did a quick meditation (because other people were nearby who wanted to get into the site, too) and put my energy out there to mix with H.D.'s and everyone else's. It was calming to me to be there in the cabin location and on the walking paths that Thoreau, himself, walked.
After walking the trail around Walden Pond, and a quick visit to the gift shop and restroom again (no surprises this time), I drove into the center of the village of Concord. I walked to Sleepyhollow Cemetery to the Author's Ridge section. There, I saw the family plots of the Thoreaus, Alcotts, Emersons and Hawthornes. It was quite amazing being on such hallowed ground, especially for an English major.
I left a small stone offering on Louisa May Alcott's grave in gratitude for her writing that my mom loved so much as a child.
And I left a small red stone on the top of Thoreau's headstone. This time, I had a little more time for a meditation as there was no one else around.
This was a journey that I'm glad I made alone. The solitude afforded me time for reflection which I probably would not have had if someone was with me. I did manage to read one short passage from Walden while I sat on the trail overlooking Walden Pond. It was a passage on solitude.