Constructing Wonder at Walden

When I thought about going to Walden I wondered what I would find to write about. It was Thursday, late morning, and although the sun was shining there was a bitterly cold wind blowing in gusts. There would be few others at the pond so I could not base my writing on Walden’s other visitors like I had in “Circles in the Sand”.

And this would be (is) my one hundred and first post on my blog.



Sometimes I wondered how I could write one hundred times about Walden. Sometimes I thought I had limited myself in choosing to follow my ‘wonder’ and base my whole blog around a pond.

Sometimes I wondered whether my wonderment with Walden would run dry.



I didn’t think too long or too hard about it. I came to Walden for many more reasons than to write. I was so hooked on the magic of the place, I would go regardless, even if I was the only one to observe my “wonderings”. Then there was the swimming.



As I walked down the ramp trying to free my mind of my life problems and responsibilities, thinking of how after copious cups of coffee, I still only felt exhaustion in my veins, I looked into the space below, across at the beach past the stone promenade.


The shadows are drawn over her

Thin fingers reaching into parts I am yet to explore.

The air has turned cold once more

As if winter has returned to her shore.


I continued walking down the ramp as these lines appeared in front of me. I have learnt that it works best to dictate or type them into my phone notes. Being there, at Walden, the inspiration begins.


I walked down the sunny side, mistakenly thinking that by the time I came to the shade I would have warmed up enough that the cold air and biting chill of the wind would not bother me. But I never walk fast enough. I would miss the wonder.

No one braves the water yet. I know it is still frigid from the freeze. No one, that is, except a lonely loon. At least I think it is a loon (though I admit I am no expert.)



Swimming majestically, the proud beaked bird.


A while further on a young couple stood side by side on the sand. He in a suit and she barefoot. He leaned his head toward her, his lips toward her lips. She ducked, her straight black hair fanning out behind her. I did not hear their interchange (and when I do hear them, they speak in Chinese). He leaned toward her once more. Once more she ducked.


And still that proud beaked bird.


I left the wooded path and walked close to the shore. By now I was on the other side of the pond. Nearing the point I will swim to when the water warms and my muscles remember how. The wind was blowing more boisterously here.


The wind, ringing water like a bell to shore.

Beating like blood into the heart of Walden.



At Ice Fort Cove I rejoined the wooded path. I am past where the train whistles close to Walden. I am at the junction of where the low lying path meets that embedded in the hillside. I climbed the wide spaced steps, remembering how a month ago I had to teeter on the edge of stone, working my way along the outmost ledge to avoid the sheets of ice melted and reformed as spring had tried to come.


The wind is freezing into my face now

Pushing at my nose with its breath.

The shadows have joined forces against the sun.

All birdsong blown away.


So I push on

Hoping to reach Spring again




2 thoughts on “Constructing Wonder at Walden

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