Walden and Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau has recently been released by Penguin Publishing in their Classics series. I am embarrassed to admit I had never read this famous book. I think however, its impact would have been lessened had I read it many years ago.
Thoreau sequestered himself in a cabin he built himself in 1845. He remained in the woods for a period of two years and this is an account of his time there. Living off the land, this is an interesting memoir. Thoreau was quite the philosopher and naturalist. A Harvard graduate, one would expect him to be out early a living rather than living like a hermit in a tiny one room cabin. Perhaps he was the ultimate introvert!
Even though I found much of this novel behind my personal comprehension, I have never been a philosophy enthusiast, there is much to be considered and many of the points Thoreau made are valid today. I came away from this book thinking of ways I have simplified my own life. My recent relocation to a small town in some ways mirrors Thoreau’s stay at Walden Pond. Living away from the close- quartered suburban city life has put me in touch with all kinds of nature. I live very near a beautiful river. My house is surrounded with a large amount of land and many trees and shrubs for which I have no names. There are animals and bugs galore! It Is by no means isolated like Walden Pond, but being new to the town I feel isolated. On most days I enjoy the solace. I don’t expect to remain as such over the next two years, however, a quiet life is pleasing to me in ways. It affords me time to reflect and that is a good thing.
I’m glad I decided to read Walden. It is a classic and from a historical perspective I found it enlightening.