It is too cold on Thanksgiving to swim as I have in past years. So I go early, hoping to catch that sense of the peace I find in Walden’s core. But even at eight am flocks of laughter and stomping feet move from the car park to the beach.
I focus on the sun shining. How it sparkles invitingly on the water, ruffled by a swift breeze pushing into shore. How the wind scatters the laughter across the pond.
I look out into the white crests, trying to remember the feeling of being among them. Not ten days earlier, yet now so distant that it seems unnatural I could ever have been there.
I walk close to the water, untouched by its cold fingers reaching onto the sand.
Walden is shrinking. The shore I now stand on once water I would swim in.
I did not see this last week as I lifted goggled eyes to look across the sky. But now I see the penciled edge of the pond, a thin blue line sketched along the creamy sand. It disturbs me, Walden withdrawing into her core. Leaving naked stones behind for me to clamber on.
I cannot say what it is I find disturbing. Whether it is the possibility she will shrink away altogether, leaving nothing? Whether it is fear of losing that place I go to to find my self? Too wound up to ground when I am bound to earth, yet able to access with rhythmic breathing within her. Or perhaps it is I fear my sacred space will become less sacred, closer to the edge where life may reach me?
I sit upon the stones, breathing deeply, trying to find my center on her shore. Thankful for what she has given me, and for what I continue to get from knowing her.