After yesterday’s snow all trace of them is gone. The prints they made in the sand are covered and soon will be trodden by thick soled boots or sliced by the tracks of skis. The prints they made in the woods, the gloved fingers which clutched at trees, or clutched at the football they threw; those prints are now etched in my mind and in the photos I snapped to remember their visit.
Together we walked the sunny side of the pond to the site of Thoreau’s house, together we read and puzzled over the punctuation and meaning of Thoreau’s words inscribed on the large wooden board at the site:
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, …. (to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.)”
Did I take them to Walden deliberately? So that when they had gone, I could at least return and remember.. Even if they had vanished into the white blur that was yesterday.
Yet after they left, I went looking. Even before the snow, when I was able to look across the pond and only a thin crust of ice had covered the flow which had been all water the previous day. I walked. Not to Thoreau’s house site, but close to the pond where I felt most at home. For they have gone home. Traveling back to Australia, the home I left almost twenty-four years ago. And so I come to Walden.
…And so I will share with you some photos from my walk around the pond ….