At a Loss for Walden…

I am in a dilemma…

For over a year and a half I have posted about Walden at least once each week. Often about swimming, as that is what I do….but within that, about the spiritual strength I gain from being in the pond, about the rhythm and balance the breath gives, about other swimmers, my thoughts, motivations, strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes my posts are about scenes I observe on the beach, situations I have fallen into at Walden, about traffic ‘en route’, roadworks, public policies, (I try not to take on political arguments though as I do not want my blog to become a forum for such discussions) and through all, I have tried to maintain a Buddhist approach.

Some, I am sure, will think…how boring.

But I have been amazed at how many different ways I have been able to write about one location, and a belly full of water at that.

But perhaps that is the charm and mystic of Thoreau’s Walden.

This evening, I find myself dry. Yet this week, I have not been at a loss for thoughts…

One day, mid week, I swam more powerfully that I have in a long time. I was aware that on that particular day, I had come from the hospital where my daughter, having been just transferred from the ICU back onto the ‘floor’ seemed to have become so weary of her ten weeks in bone marrow transplant, that she had given in. I took on the fight for her.

Another day, I sat in rush hour traffic for an hour, the sun blazing through the open window tinting my legs lobster red, only to arrive feeling so exhausted I did not want to swim. It was only experience that told me if I swam I would feel better. I had to believe the story I was telling myself.

On yet another day, I came energized, but preoccupied with the migraine and the ear ache I had developed….so even though I noticed how deep and serene the green mirror of the pond was late in the afternoon, how the fading light of the sun was changing the trees from green to gold, how the sky was turning silver blue, shining beams of white light into the water, none of it was penetrating my mind.

Today, I sat in yet another slow snake of traffic, waiting to get into the pond after it reopened at 2pm. (The park is closed for periods usually of about three hours when the parking lot is full….and this happens regularly on sunny summer weekends).
reflecting…. ‘regulars’ steer clear of the pond on summer weekends. At least in the heart of the day. The pond is consumed by a different population. Picnics, frisbees, toddlers and sand play.
People come, set up tent like shades on the sand. Bring pallets of water, coolers of ice, tupperware tubs of salad and camp out.
I come, park my towel and keys at the same spot on the stone wall, leave my old black crocs at the water edge just outside the guarded area and swim…grateful that I have overcome my self and stagnations, and made my way to the water edge.

Perhaps you were there today too….it was a busy day at Walden.


2 thoughts on “At a Loss for Walden…

    • i’m so glad my writing takes you into the heart of Walden’s magic Cathy…we both know what an absolute godsend it is we have her to go to…..see you there soon my friend :)….after a few days to rest our shoulders we will be ready for more Walden magic! lots of love to you xxx Liz


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