As the cool autumn wind sweeps across Walden Pond outside of Concord, New England and rustles through the changing trees of fall foliage one feels the inspiration of Emerson and Thoreau’s transcendental philosophy. Thoreau retreated to Walden Pond to experience the natural world away from the maddening crowds and the 19th century Industrial civilization. How he describes his transcendent awakening in solitude with nature in “Walden” is more relevant now than it has ever been. We as 21st century individuals are constantly bombarded by electronic stimulation that takes us away from our natural surroundings. Sometimes we are so occupied that we fail to notice a flower in bloom or the smile of an old lady passing us by. This is why we must make time for retreat which grounds us, bringing us back to our present self and the present moment. In my experience after studying Thoureau and reading “Walden”, just walking around Walden Pond during the peak of fall was a moment that I will always cherish. This retreat reminded me to take time to truly listen to the birds chirping and bees buzzing, smell the grasses and pond, while opening to the space for nature’s magnificent glory to be respected and honored.
By Timothy Omi