Work brought me to Boston for three days, and I didn't like it. To the point that I ate at the restaurant in my hotel each night rather than have to go back out into the city -- and considering that the best ethnic food we have in Vermont is poutine, usually I'd go out of my way for some real Greek or Jamaican or even Italian food. But it was all too much for this country girl to handle, so I spent my evenings with my book as close to "home" as I could get. In fact, all the navigating and being honked at and getting lost and meeting new people completely exhausted me.
So when I had an hour to kill in Concord, it was worth my five dollars to make the small pilgrimage to Walden Pond. To walk along the edge of the water, on a clear day in what was still October, with the geese veeing overhead. To pace out the markers at the cabin site, hardly larger than our chicken house (though with a better view). To think about Thoreau and simplicity and autumn and root cellars and land.
I used to smirk at the knowledge that he walked over to Ralph's for dinner some nights, that he bought in flour and and took his laundry home for washing. But I have since lived in lonely places and small, and I have planted my own beans and hoed them, and I don't smirk now. Besides which, he never laid claim to hermitage.
But a life apart, just a little ways apart. It was worth my five dollars and my time to be walking in the woods beneath the still-changing trees, the pond so bright, the geese so loud overhead. To remember that I am not the only one ill-suited to cities, and that it's okay to want to be out in the woods, alone, for a while.