life of m

Sustaining the Self and Beyond

Return to Walden

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“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

~ Mary Oliver

On Tuesday, I returned to Walden Pond. After many months apart, my dear friend and I were reunited. I had anticipated this moment. In fact, the thought of swimming in the water of Walden had kept me going during long nights of dissertation revision work.

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Perhaps, I had built it up too much. Or maybe it was because I was rushed during the visit. I did not feel glorious.

It was cold. 61 degrees. Clear and sunny skies, though, and I did warm up on the walk around to my favorite swimming spot.

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I had to walk swiftly. I had to be in Nashua for a songwriting session in the early afternoon, and I did not want to be late. So the visit was rushed. I did not have the time to explain my absence to familiar rock, tree, and ripple.

All was accounted for, it seemed, apart from a broken trunk of a tree and the absence of the cairn on the shore.

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Was it strange that everything was still there?

Did no one or no thing miss me during those many months we were separated by freezing water and falling snow?

Did I sense my own mortality with the realization that the earth, its systems and inhabitants, have been and will continue to carry on regardless of my presence?

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It still felt wonderful to step into the water, free from chlorine. I felt strong moving my arms and legs in tandem, propelling my body through an element within which I am but a visitor.

I still felt thankful to be reacquainted with familiar faces, to greet my friends:

Hello parking lot.

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Hello bench.

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Hello favorite tree.

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Hello small creature friend.

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Hello rocks.

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Hello water.

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Glorious water!

I am thankful to be present and very much alive.

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Author: marieke

I am a writer, artist, musician, songwriter, editor, and yogi. I am a seeker and a wanderer. I love spending time learning about the wildness of human nature and the world around me.

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