Saturday, July 18, 2009

Instead of a Rainbow

July 7, 2009
P.M. - to Walden Pond

When the clouds broke and little slices of sunshine streamed down, I grabbed the camera and headed to Walden Pond. It was the opposite of “Storm Chasers” – I was hoping to see not a storm, but a rainbow.
The trail had been washed out along the eastern side of the pond, so it was messy going. Low scuddy clouds were swirling ominously, so much so that I could not tell which way the weather was going – or coming. I admit I am pretty much of a lightning-phobe, and considered turning back at every unsettled gust of wind.
It didn’t seem really safe to be out there, and there was no one else around.
Instead, the plants and trees along the trail lured me on. Ask any photographer: after a rain, things are beautiful. The soft light, the raindrops, the (literally) saturated colors.

Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia)

What I found, instead of a rainbow in the sky, was a young couple huddled together on one of the stone-step openings, gazing at Walden Pond. They had taken the train from Cambridge, and walked to the pond, getting caught in that storm along the way.
They were looking for Thoreau’s House Site. I was happy to show them the way, and glad for the company as well. We walked together and I asked how they came to be interested in Thoreau. Bhrigu said that, growing up in India, he had heard that Gandhi had been influenced by Thoreau’s writings. They wanted to see for themselves the source of inspiration for these words, which seem to have gone around the world and back again.
We talked about the fact that Thoreau and Emerson were among the first Americans to read the Hindu scriptures and publish excerpts of them in English.

In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seems puny and trivial. ~Walden

As we got to the house site, I was ready to leave them alone with their thoughts.
Then, casually, Prerna mentioned that it was her husband’s birthday today.
Well! A commemorative photo must be taken! Happy birthday!

No comments:

Post a Comment