Thoreau Thursdays (15): Living Around Water

July 28, 2011

“It is well to have some water in your neighborhood, to give buoyancy to and float the earth.”
     — Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Green Lake on a July morning

I grew up in landlocked Minnesota, whose state motto is “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”  I always envied those families who decamped to their cabins and lake homes during the long, hot summers.  I spent my summer vacation on the farm, doing chores and playing on our expanse of lawn and in the woods.  No lakes on our property.

One of the things I like best about our house in Seattle is that it is just a few blocks away from Green Lake.  Not on the lake, but close enough that it takes just a couple of minutes to walk down to it.  Green Lake is encircled by a paved path, 2.8 miles around, and green lawns, docks, and swimming beaches.  I feel very fortunate to have such a lovely recreation spot so close to where I live.

Green Lake with row boats

One of the docks at Green Lake

Water holds a magical, alluring pull:

“The water . . . is not only a mirror but a magnet, with a power that reaches to the ends of space.  It can pluck the moon from the sky and float it like a lily; it can reach up to the dark night to draw down the stars and hold them shining to its breast; and through all the seasons it paints its pictures of the flowers that lean over it.”
— Beverley Nichols, Merry Hall

I still dream about a retreat, close enough for weekend getaways, but far from the noise and concrete of the city.  I picture myself living in a silver Airstream trailer, parked semi-permanently by a lake or ocean beach, nested in trees.  The entry is shaded by a colorful awning.  And I’m sitting in a lounge chair facing the water, reading a book!

That would give my life some buoyancy!

5 Responses to “Thoreau Thursdays (15): Living Around Water”

  1. You mention living in an Airstream – do you know this blog –

    • Rosemary Says:

      Thanks for the link. I hadn’t heard about it before. Someone is actually living in an Airstream for two years!

  2. Roberta Says:

    I’m with you on that Airstream, water and a book. Someday! We will be heading to WA. soon for a short stay at Flowing Lake..

  3. garden2day Says:

    Ah, a very relaxing Thursday posting-an escape from our unending hot weather here. It sounds so refreshing. Maybe there is some cold lemonade nearby?

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