We have a pond. A couple of them actually. But our ponds will never be as famous as some.
Perhaps, the most well-known small body of water is Walden Pond. Yes. The place where noted transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau spent two years. In a cabin. By his little lonesome.
He wrote a book called Walden. The text is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. It is quite a book. The work is a lot of different things. A bit of a social experiment. But mostly it is a passage. An exploration of spiritual discovery.
It was first published in 1854. Yes. Written 164 years ago. It details Thoreau’s experiences over the course of two years, two months, and two days in a cabin he built near Walden Pond. And all of that was located in a woods owned by his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson. And all of this is near Concord, Massachusetts.
But now Walden has a problem. And if Henry David Thoreau were alive today, he might have some eloquent words to describe this trouble. But I will just come out and say it. People are peeing in the pool. Errrr…. pond. And that there pond, is being killed by the urine.
Because so many have loved and followed his book, droves of people visit that spot. And as such, generations of swimmers have urinated in the water, according to a new study.
There is so much pee in the pond that it is wrecking the ecosystem and devastating the fish population
Despite some efforts to clean it up, the water is nowhere near as pure as when Thoreau traveled those shores. The scientists working on the problem have found very high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, which are found in human waste. And that. That nitrogen and phosphorus feed algae. Which blocks the sun. And it is killing the fish.
If it were me, I would just put up “No Swimming” signs. And a couple of restrooms. I can only guess what Henry David would do. He didn’t cover that in his book.
“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”
― Henry David Thoreau
I see a pond. Apparently, others see a potty.
“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”
― Henry David Thoreau
But if you are standing up to pee, that is another matter entirely.
Finally, all pee-jokes aside. You will find in Walden, some of the best advice about life. Ever.
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods