Photo from my class at Walden Pond – Concord, MA
Recently, I took a course at Walden Pond in Concord, MA called “The Walden Woods Project.” Through the course, I became very familiar with Henry David Thoreau, the American author who, in the 1840s lived in a small cabin by a pond in Concord for two years while writing his best-known work: Walden. Thoreau was a writer, but he was also many other things: teacher, philosopher, pencil maker, eccentric Concord resident, nature-observer, travel writer, as well as one of the first known anthropologists (of sorts) to respectfully study and learn from Native Americans. I think if Thoreau were alive today, he would blog. But not excessively.
In planning a unit for September, I came across this beloved Thoreau quote:
“All good things are wild and free.”
I love this quote because it reminds me to get outdoors and experience everything the world has to offer. Thoreau is an American who dared to be different, and we can learn from his example today. He cultivated a mindfulness practice and wrote about it when his peers were, by and large, farmers trying desperately to get ahead financially. As he observed: “Most men live lives of quiet desperation.” He did not want to be one of those men, and in my opinion, he succeeded.
Reading this quote again brought me back to mindfulness. Which was good, because I was being pretty frantic about trying to finish the unit plan on time for my graduate class’s deadline. If Thoreau practiced it, so can I, even if I fall off the wagon for a few days.
Some other photos from my class.
Question for readers: What quotes remind you to be mindful?