On Sunday, after Jonas left Walden under snow, I went to the woods. I was surprised to see only a handful of cars in the parking lot when I arrived. And in the woods themselves, not another figure moving amongst the trees.
As I picked my way carefully down the hillside, maneuvering my snowshoes so as to avoid the roots and stones which lay barely camouflaged, I breathed the silence into my veins.
It was a perspective of Walden I do not often see, or allow myself to.
When I came upon the site on which Thoreau built his cabin and read the large painted sign, I could not help but see a glimpse of him there. Something in the way the snow rested in clumps on the pine needles… Something in the way the long slender shadows of tree trunks stretched across the unblemished snow… Something in the way that snow cover subtracts all the unnecessaries from our sight… Something in the woods which respected his former presence and now, his absence.
I walked on, forgetting time and way. Following the ribbons of white winding through green, thinning until above me the sky streamed down a deep rich azure. Until the pond came into view. Some of it crystal reflecting the woods beyond, some of it merely expansive and white. And when I came to its shore, grinding my snowshoes into the frozen sand, I watched the figure of a man, his head bent in contemplation, wondering where all the snow had gone.