Enjoy VS Ego

Thanks for dropping by. I dropped by Walden recently.

If you don’t know Walden, after you park you have to cross the road to get to the pond. The ramp is fairly steep downhill, but not so much that you can’t glance through the trees while you walk.

So I did. The sun had captured the surface of the water in that mystical white smear that immediately made me think, ‘Ice’.

Ice? It’s only December. I realize at these instants in time just what an impact this whole thing called winter has on me… (I should reread my blog, Fear and Fearlessness!)

Another look as I walk further down the ramp. Of course I was wrong. It was only an illusion.

I vaguely remember a quote I read recently from Thoreau’s ‘Walden’ about the pond in the winter, something about how the cold contains us and forces us to find other pursuits.

Well, I took my camera, not my swimming towel yesterday…

The first thing that strikes me is how peace settles into my chest as I look out over the pond. I am walking close to the water, on the lower path. I am heading for Red Cross Beach. It is a still day. No whisper of wind curling around my earlobes.

Not many other souls wandering at Walden today either. Do you know that feeling of being home? Right now I am feeling that.

On the sand, I look across and see a stone totem. At the water’s edge, it is both part-of-earth and part-of-water.


Someone has carefully crafted, with balance and harmony, each individual piece to create a unified whole.

Such artistry.




I hope I see it when I return to Walden.


I am bliss. The sun feels warm (no, it is my winter jacket, but I will, I want to believe it is the sun). The breeze ‘isn’t’ today. The water has poured into herself and sits filling her own essence. I feel complete on the beach with the sand and the stone and the totem. I am happy out, not inside her waters.

And then, out there, I see an arm, black, and then another, churning, and a trail of bubbles vertical from feet, tossing in the air.

A swimmer.

A terrible bout of ego shadows over me. I should be swimming. If someone is still swimming, then I should be swimming too. But I really don’t want to swim any more. Last week was good, but I felt the sign, much stronger than before, that it was time to stop. And I know, I swam in Walden among the ice in 2004. (But there was a reason I did it then, and it was not pretty.) I do not need to do that today. Not in 2012.

I watch the black figure splash and bob for a while, and continue my walk to Sandy Point. If you haven’t walked Walden, this is down the right side of the pond from the main beach, almost to the site of Thoreau’s cabin at the far end.

Red Cross beach looking back at the main beach (totem in mid ground)

Red Cross beach looking back at the main beach (totem in mid ground)

It is a glorious afternoon. Still perfect. Why is my mind now too busy to be fully enjoying the moment? The cotton clouds poked up into the backdrop of blue, the sentry of green over that far side, the vast mirror between that side and me. And me, still wrestling with the matter of the other swimmer and my ego.


This ego thing. What a burden. Why do we human’s bother with it?






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