The Society at Walden Pond

Kiran ParekhMarch 14, 2019Society and the IndividualAwesome Moments
The Society at Walden Pond

After reading Thoreau's Walden, it is my turn to “live deliberately.”

When I first arrive at Walden Pond, I find myself sitting on a rock between two towering trees, acting as the audience to Walden Pond’s play. At first glance, my eyes only process a pond surrounded by sand. However, a closer look transforms the initially ordinary-looking water and woods into a representation of my thoughts, unveiling the beauty and importance of nature. When taking a closer look, it is impossible not to admire the magnificence of nature.

The wind grabs my attention, running down the spine of my back. The breeze creates a gusting chorus, confidently sung along the trees and bushes, that fills me with enough fresh air for an entire week. The sounds of birds, leaves, and footsteps echo throughout the pond so that every nearby living creature can hear. The deciduous, rustling trees and bushes reflect off the calming waves of the untouched pond, adding to the painting of the light blue sky and silky clouds. The trees wear a few red and yellow leaves but are mostly hidden behind their thick green sweaters. The woods turn the pond into an arena, acting as beautiful bleachers for the birds to watch. The uneven sand is scattered with rocks of all sizes, each telling a different story. Newly born shrubs create a barrier between the pond and the shoreline of the sand. Nearer to the pond, the pond’s breeze tells of only sweetness, joy, and a lifetime of thoughts. Unlike wind by the sea, this breeze is soft, allowing all the other instruments in the orchestra to blend in. The waves crash against the sand in the most polite way, as if it is their version of a handshake.

The combination of the breeze, waves, and scenery directs my body to focus on what the environment is trying to tell me. The sound of the waves instantly relieves me of my stress, the chirping of the birds translates to the words “everything will be fine,” and the smell of the fresh air combined with the instantly calming earthy essence of all the plants in the woods soothes my body.

However, every time I am met with a human interaction, I disconnect from nature until the footsteps cannot be heard anymore. My relaxed self is replaced by an anxious and displeased character. The sound of the footsteps gradually fades into rustling trees, bringing me back to where I belong. This place makes me feel more thoughtful and natural, almost as if I were a tree, connected to the ground by my roots, admiring the stunning view in front of me. I am not anticipating the negatives that could arise in the future or reflecting on the mistakes I made in the past, but enjoying the present.

Walden Pond gives me an abundance of thoughts. However, they all share common ground: they are related to me. This place deeply connects me to my own thoughts and feelings, which we rarely have the opportunity to experience. It is crucial that I get time alone so that I can listen to the lessons of nature. No matter the chaos going on in the world, Walden Pond remains peaceful and beautiful.

Thoreau was right — isolation from human society does not mean that you are not part of a community. Society is a combination of factors that work together for mutual benefit. Every part of nature has its purpose. The waves of the pond, treated by the warmth of the sun above, pay it forward by acting as a morning alarm for the fish below. The fresh water is able to quench the thirst of the sand, which embodies a thick blanket for the shivering land below. The dropping leaves relieve the trees of their weight, resurrected by the rainfall produced from the clouds above. Nature is a society of its own.

Kiran Parekh is 16 years old and currently lives in New York City. He loves to play guitar and soccer in his free time. In the classroom, Kiran loves the subject of science and hopes to one day be a doctor.