Poetry and blue sky

Yesterday, we went to Walden.  As you know if you’ve been reading for any length of time, this is a very special place for Grace, Whit, and me, and we like to go year-round.  Every summer we have a morning swim there, and we also like to go in the fall, winter or spring, to walk around the often-deserted pond.  In fact, I’d go so far as to say that for us (and, I know, for millions of others), Walden is holy.

We woke up to an empty Sunday.  What a divine privilege these wide-open days are.  I know that now that I can sense their running through the hourglass of years.  We had a quick breakfast, Whit was whining, Grace was annoyed at something, Matt was reluctant, but I kept us moving and all four of us headed west.

IMG_5123The path was iced-over and slippery when we took off around the pond.  Grace and Whit scampered ahead, knowing their way around now, exploring up and down the snowy hillsides that arc away from the pond.  IMG_5091

The beach was snowy and the pond was frozen completely solid.  We arrived at the site of Thoreau’s house, where the pile of rocks, usually studded with cairns, was covered with snow.  I read the famous lines that I know by heart under my breath, watching my children climbing on the pile of snow marking where the writer had lived, feeling the familiar sense of tightness in my chest and hot tears in my eyes.  Yes, this: to live deliberately.  This: to learn what life has to teach.

So many of those lessons are to be found in the achingly blue sky, the brilliant white snow, the tangible peace in the air, the evocative lines of poetry.  There are so many lessons about life right here in nature, and I recalled again how powerful it is to simply be in the world, to look and listen and breathe, a lesson I keep learning over and over again.


By the time we’d circled the pond and come back to where we started we all had pink cheeks and calmer hearts.  As it always does, Walden had worked its particular, mysterious magic on all four of us.  The poetry and the blue sky had soaked through our pores, through our spirits, and we were reminded of what it is to live this life.


And I lagged behind my family, watching them walk away, standing on the frozen beach and gazing at that unbelievable, outrageous blue.  This beautiful world.



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  1. Posted March 10, 2014 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Simply beautiful and a breath of crisp, fresh air xx

  2. Posted March 10, 2014 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Wow Lindsey. Goose bumps! I took the kids to Walden Pond a few summers ago, but it was at the end of a long day of touristy stops and I couldn’t get them out of the car. We’re touring the northeast again this summer, and I am going back, for sure. Beautiful post!

  3. Posted March 10, 2014 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    It’s so great when you (seemingly) have a place like that completely to yourself. I suppose that’s easier in the winter months. We have a similar connection to World’s End and a few spots in the Blue Hills. The outdoors is certainly a sweet elixir and balm for many things, isn’t it?

  4. Posted March 10, 2014 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    So beautiful. What a lovely space to call your own. And I loved the chance to read that beautiful quote again. Of course, I have read it many times but it really is so beautiful!

  5. Posted March 10, 2014 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Wow what a stunning place your photo’s are magical. Nothing better than a day spent with family exploring this wonderful world we live in.

  6. Posted March 11, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    As you know, I share the same reverence for nature’s cathartic and holy essence.

    I love your tradition and your continual reminder to be. here. now.


  7. Posted March 20, 2014 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    I love it, especially, when you write like this….it is, as I’ve told you before, poetry.
    P.S. Although, I want No part of that cold! 🙂

  8. Posted March 24, 2014 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Stunning place to relax, specially when the sun is shining!