The plan for my visit to Walden Pond in Concord, Mass., is to plunge into its deep, still waters. Simply dipping a toe in won’t do — my secular baptism will require a full immersion in one of America’s most iconic ponds, made famous by writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau, who experienced a spiritual awakening when he moved to its shores at age 27 on July 4, 1845.
Published in the United Church Observer February 2018 edition.
He lived alone here for two years in a small house he built himself, and often started his day with a swim. “I got up early and bathed in the pond; that was a religious exercise,” he wrote in Walden, his masterpiece of non-fiction published in 1854, which urges readers to live simply, intentionally and in harmony with nature.