Not far from my hometown in Massachusetts is a minimalist writer’s mecca: Concord, home of some of my favourite writers: Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Louisa May Alcott. I requested a weekend outing to this charming New England town, to soak up some history and inspiration.
First we drive by Walden Pond, where Thoreau lived in a cabin from 1845-1847, writing Walden; or Life in the Woods [a must-read for aspiring minimalists!]. It’s too crowded to enter just yet – oddly, it’s a beach destination, despite the serene intentions for my visit.
Off to Emerson‘s house, where I learn that he was a curious and clever dude. He travelled often, and Thoreau would hang out at the house, doing odd jobs and building presents for Emerson’s kids. Cool Uncle Henry. Funny story – Ralph’s wife, Lydia, changed her name to “Lydian” because Bostonians pronounced it “Lydiar”.
On the way out, we stop in their beautiful playground-esque garden.
Lunch in Concord means Comella’s, obviously. A quick local Italian place that has burst into a Boston-area chain. The World Cup was on so we got a glimpse of modernity to break up the day.
Off to Thoreau Farm, a marvelous hidden gem - a walk-through museum on the site of Thoreau’s birth. I loved reading bits about his enthusiastic, deliberate lifestyle. They even rent out one of the room to writers – special!
Back to Walden Pond. The crowd has died down, so we opt for a nature loop around the place, retracing Thoreau’s steps. We observe the site of his cabin, and meander down to the edge of the pond. The beach-y part is across from us in the distance, but our spot is quiet and private, so we skip rocks and gaze on the rippling water. Nothing inspires like a walk – or even just a sit – in the woods.
> monday mini adventures: making the most of one’s surroundings through conscious exploration and appreciation
P.S. if you’ve caught the minimalist bug, here’s a list of 14 films that inspire minimalism and mindfulness!