Now that summer has unofficially begun and the swimming season is officially underway I want to share some photos showing the transformation of Walden from wilderness to public recreation area.
Sunday 5/21 … Art in its natural form and place
The nesting of the season
Putting out the buoys ..Wednesday 5/24
Preparing the swim markers
Not weather (or water) for paddling ..yet
The beach divided
Despite the still cool water (only a degree or two above 60) and the less than desirably cool air temperature (not touching 70) the beach was beginning to brim by the time I finished my swim this afternoon. It was still pretty easy to navigate a path through the water without colliding though.
the beach is starting to fill
Even the open water swimmers are sparse
Yes… Despite the weather, the season begins!
Spring launched today and Walden vibrated with her energy as a relaxed crowd of visitors sprawled along the sand, strung like beads around the perimeter of the pond. With them they bought volleyballs, soccer balls, ping pong, frisbees, fishing rods, bikes or just their sneakers, jettisoned so bare feet could test the water, still too cold for swimmers…
Yet when I left the main beach and meandered around to the far side of the pond, the crowd and carnival atmosphere thinned. It was replaced instead by the silent endeavor of a figure clad in black, deftly stepping in the ankle deep water of Ice Fort Cove. He was looking for stones to build his cairns.
I stopped to talk to the young man and learnt that apart from needing a stone with three points on which it could balance, the main skills required were patience and perseverance. “And perhaps a steady hand,” I added.
I was surprised when the young man told me without any animosity that often the cairns he built were knocked over purposely, “because you wouldn’t want one of those rocks to land on your foot, would you…” he explained. I wondered why I would be a target for one landing on me if I was minding my own business and just walking by, but that was not the point.
What I was really astonished by was what I thought to be the Buddhist attitude of this young man.
After taking all this time and effort to build these structures, he seemed perfectly fine with the notion that they would be destroyed.
Thanking him for his time I continued on my walk deciding there was more than patience, perseverance and a steady hand to the building of cairns. The secret lay centered inside the psyche of the builder himself.