What I quoted last time, or rather the context of that reading, is important enough that I want to emphasize that for Thoreau, Walden was simply a convenient place close to home. Here’s a photo of a place near where I live, as seen from kayak level.
You wouldn’t guess from the photo that a busy street is just beyond the trees. From the street you can hardly see down into the swampy upper end of Holmes Lake, a flood-control reservoir in Lincoln, Nebraska. There are other places I can go outside of the city, but this is only minutes away from home. Throw the inflatable kayak in the car and away you go. Right in the middle of a city is this home and nesting ground for a variety of ducks, geese, and great blue herons. A lot of people drive by without knowing it’s there — or they know a lake is there but don’t really see it.
I imagine there were a lot of people living in Concord who never took the time to go out to Walden Pond, or who never really saw it if they went there. Anyone could go there at any time, so maybe it didn’t seem that important.
So the trick is to find your Waldens. You may not have woods and a pond, but any corner where nature exists will do. Pieces of Walden are hiding in plain sight all around.
(About “A Year in Walden”)