Thinking about Thoreau and Eustace Conway

I walk in from the woods, coming to view her from the ridge. Glistening waters winking with a thousand tiny twinkling suns. No longer the smooth sheen of the resplendent ice.

Walden unzipping. Splitting the silent seam.

I am drawn, as if pulled by the birdcall, the hint of new beginnings.

I felt a twinge of Thoreau in my body, my step, laboring up the rocky path over the ridge. Observing the stones scattered along the perimeter where, even after a winter of snow, thaw, rain and run-off the dirt remains a guide for where I should tread, so as to avoid eroding the undergrowth. Dried leaves, layered like sedimentary rock, matted and pressed together, yet the top leaves still perfect. Dried reminders of summer strolls through shaded glens. Crisp edged, pointed, imperfect stars of fall. Yesterday’s woods flooring today.

My new awareness of the wilds.IMG_6567

Last week I attended the AWP annual conference in Boston.

In “Writers Respond to Walden and Walden Pond” Scott Temple introduced me to the work of Eustace Conway who has been likened to Thoreau in that he went at a young age to live in the woods, celebrating living in self sufficiency, living off the land, using available resources, “making do” or “doing without.” Living his belief in man’s connection to nature.

I ramble. The woods are sleek, bare and quiet. It is the still-slumber-of-winter trying to be spring today which causes the sleek bare trunks to reach into the bluing arc above. The birds sing spring, but tentative, as they flitter from limb to limb. Early spring bird song. More vibrant, a richer song than winter.

I still trudge through snow. My sneaker feet cursing. Is this not done yet? Friday’s March storm bought more in inches to Boston. The fifty plus fahrenheit day attempts to melt the remains. I start a steep descent toward the pond.

Now I am wondering about swimming.


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