Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Circling the Pond

July 11, 2009

This morning’s annual Memorial Walk around Walden Pond is scheduled for 7 a.m.
I aim to go a-water-walking instead.

At 6:30 a.m. I stand on the shore next to my kayak, and make an offering.
One push and I am buoyant upon the water.
The early swimmers are already ploughing headfirst around the north side of the pond. My path goes along the southern side, in a sun-wise circle around the edge of Walden.
I come upon a modern-day Melvin, happy to show me his catch:

Sunlight comes over Pine Hill behind me and illuminates the leafy shore.
Sprays of clethra leaves hang over the water. There are elder flowers – blackberries – and many, many star-faced blueberries.

Circles within the circle. Fish nests. And fish.

Near a quiet cove, the silent walkers pass by, up on the fenced path. My path has no fence.

I head for the very center of the pond. The air is still and the paddling is easy. The water gets darker and darker as the bottom drops away, far far below, until it is one hundred feet below my boat. I rest there, bobbing gently on the water.

The swimmers are far away, their arms flashing noiselessly above the water. The walkers are somewhere behind the trees near the site of Henry’s little house. One of them rudely breaks the silence by singing very loudly, off-key. That was her offering, I suppose.

Now I go back toward the shallow shoreline, continuing to scribe the circle.
The sun is full upon the trees now and they send back their reflections in the water.
The opposite of shadows.

The color of the water endears this place to me.

Walden is blue at one time and green at another,
even from the same point of view.
Lying between the earth and the heavens,
it partakes of the color of both.


Now I come back full round, along the northern shore, to face the sun and the breeze that rises. Past green overhanging grapes and more unripe blueberries.
But wait – here’s one ripe enough to eat!


  1. That photo of the blueberries is perfect! And the fisherman is awesome. :)

  2. What a beautiful journey! I could feel that cool water, that warm early morning sun. A paddle at dawn is really a form of prayer.

  3. How incredibly beautiful. Thank you for taking us on your journey - I did not expect to visit Waldon Pond today. I have to admit that I am a little bit awed.