Fitz 9th Grade English
A Fresh Breath of Realization
~Henry David Thoreau, Walden
It was a cold autumn morning. I ripped open the shades in my room, only to see what a beautiful day it was. This was the day when I went with my Fenn senior class to Walden Pond. I remember waking up and not knowing whether or not we were allowed to break dress code or not; I played it safe, and just went in the normal Fenn school attire. When I finally got to school, after what seemed like a long bus ride, we prepared to take off for Walden Pond. The drive was incredibly short and fun, listening to county music with Trotsky the whole time. When we finally got there we checked out the replica cabin of Thoreau's cabin, and I have to say, it was quite small. We then traveled down to the pond itself taking pictures of the beautiful views and scenes. We then went off and wrote for a bit. This moment in time had to have been one of the most peaceful writing times of my life; the silence with an occasional breeze and the small splashes of stones being skipped in the distance. The sun was glimmering down on the glass-like water, which looked like that because it was in the midst of changing from a land to sea breeze. That glass-like water would constantly be broken by the more than occasional stone. But, it was one of the most peaceful places I had ever been. It has taught me many things that I will be able to utilize for the rest of my life. The greatest of which, is to appreciate what we have, and think about what we actually need.
I have really enjoyed reading Henry David Thoreau's Walden. Getting into the clothing part, the biggest thing that I took away from this part of the reading was how every person has an image. Your clothes are kind of like your cover, and everybody knows that you should not judge a book by its cover. Thoreau was saying that you should not really buy all these fancy clothes so that you can get the girls, or buy fancy clothes to give the appearance to people that you are rich. Also, he was saying do not let your clothing create your image. You should find your style, what works with you, and stick with it. My favorite part of clothing was how at the very end Thoreau says, “In the long run men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high." What this quote means to me is that you should aim for high goals, because if you do not try, you definitely know that you will not obtain those goals; but if you do, you never know what might happen. At least you have a chance.
It was quite warm for an autumn morning at Walden Pond, but the water was not. When we finally reached the cove in which Thoreau had lived, a couple of us boys decided that it was only right to take a little dip. It started out with only about four of us, and only one had a bathing suit. Unfortunately, at Walden, I did not have a bathing suit, so I had to strip down to my boxers like many other kids so I could swim. Then more people started to follow and swim. I remember swimming to the other side and back. The cold water was one of the more soothing and enlightening things I have ever felt. Swimming is something for which I have always had a passion. Whether it being in mild competition or just for leisure, I've always just enjoyed the feeling, especially when I'm under water, holding my breath; with no sound, just my thoughts. Swimming has been something that just relaxes me. This reminded me how at camp I would wake up early every morning, timing it so that the water was like glass; and some friends and I would swim across the lake and back. When we finished swimming, we were more refreshed than ever, and we were ready to take the on the day.
At Walden Pond, you adapt to the cold water, then when you get out, you are even colder which was a pain. Then after a couple minutes of sharing one towel for ten boys you dried off, got dressed again, and went back to your peaceful journey of enjoying the beauty of Walden Pond. We did not take the traditional route of going around the pond. We went around the water's edge for most of it, then we went on our own through the woods if we chose too. The thing that was so great about the pond is that it had something special for everybody, whether it was a place to relax; to swim; to collect or skip stones; to write; or in Trotsky's and many others' cases, to fish. It had something that was appealing to everybody; something for them that was simple but also very enjoyable.
There are very few other places like it that I know of, where you have everything that you need just to be happy. I can see why Thoreau would want to stay at Walden. Just the sheer beauty of the pond itself is enough to put people who visit it in awe and silence. If Thoreau was not at Walden Pond, I do not believe that he would not have been as successful as he was. Walden truly has absolutely everything you need to live. It has the water, the wildlife, and the commute with it being right next to the train tracks which used to be a road into town. It was truly amazing just visiting there, and it's funny because it's something that I have driven by almost every day of my life for the past five or six years. The spot Thoreau picked to build his house was just right, in the way the sun struck that little cove every day.
It appeared to me that for a like reason men remain in their present low and primitive condition; but if they should feel the influence of the spring of springs arousing them, they would of necessity rise to a higher and more ethereal life.
Excerpt From: "Economy", Walden.
Here is another point: shelter can be expensive. So why live your life thinking about how you are going to come up with the money to keep on paying loans for that giant house with the pool and the hot tub, when you can go into the woods and build your own house for less than a fraction of the price and with no rent? You don't always have to be as good as your neighbors or your friends. Everybody has different situations. Some people have families to feed, while others live alone. Some people are farmers and may not make as much as the business man makes. I felt that so far, all of Thoreau's topics in "Economy" have been linked together in a way. I really enjoyed reading about the topics of clothing and shelter and I believe that most things that Thoreau has written in "Economy" is still true today. They both bring up the question: what do you really need to live?
I mean that they should not play life, or study it merely, while the community supports them at this expensive game, but earnestly live it from beginning to end. How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?
Excerpt From: "Economy", Walden.
Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.
Excerpt From: "Economy", Walden.
I have driven by Walden Pond almost every day for the past five to six years in my life; I have walked around it once or twice as well, and it is a shame that I have not realized the shear beauty of it until now. When I was a little kid walking around it, I would just enjoy the walk not everything else. Now that I am older, my perspective has changed and I have been able to see all the little things of what is so great about this pond. What is astonishing to me is how close I am to this important piece of the world we live in, how important Thoreau was, and how he inspired Gandhi, who then inspired Martin Luther King Jr. It's interesting how important just this little spot was to the world of which I am now a part. Also, I admire every little part of the pond: the sun reflecting through the beautiful forest around it and onto the water; the beautiful sand and water. Walden Pond is something special; something that I will probably visit many more times in my life before I die. Now I know that I will never look past it every morning when I drive by. It is now amazing just to observe for the ten seconds I have whilst passing it; the beauty of the sun reflecting off the water in the morning, off of which little strings of fog are ever so slightly dancing. Now, because of Thoreau, I know that I will learn to appreciate not just the beauty of Walden Pond, but the beauty of all things in life.