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Posts Tagged ‘Frederick Tudor the Ice King’

Just sitting here. Enjoying the quiet. Reflecting.

A few years ago, we spent a day on Walden Pond. It was a clear and crisp autumn day and one I will always remember. We arrived early, having heard that while there was plenty of room around Walden, the parking lot was small. Intentionally small, I think, to control the number of people visiting Walden Pond. We came with sandwiches and such from a deli in Concord and sat on steps, eating, watching a few canoeists, swimmers braving the chilly water, an elderly couple sitting in camp chairs reading, an artist sketching  . . .  people, living on purpose.

From the moment I first read Thoreau’s Walden in American Literature class in high school, I wanted to see Walden Pond. I always knew I would love it just not how much I would. Have you ever had that experience? Thoreau’s quote says it best:

If one advances confidently in the direction of one’s dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Did you know that Frederick Tudor, The Ice King, devised a way to harvest ice and became a very wealthy man? Ice was taken from Walden Pond to use aboard ships to keep food cold on the journey to the tropics. Frederick Tudor was the great grandfather of Tasha Tudor, an illustrator whose books and gardens and life I so admire.

Do you remember the scene in the Winona Ryder film version of Little Women where Jo and Laurie go ice skating and Amy falls through the ice in the pond? That was a depiction of Walden Pond. Orchard House, where Alcott wrote Little Women, is within walking distance from the pond.

The Alcotts were friends of Thoreau and there is speculation that Louisa May had at least a girlhood crush on him. They, along with Emerson and Hawthorne and others, are all buried in the same cemetery, near each other, in a section noted for the number of writers buried there.

Ah, but my thoughts wander today, like the path at Walden, when I meant to wax poetic and dream awhile of advancing confidently toward my dreams.

 

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