Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I should be standing by the pond right now, but...

When I was a sophomore in high school, there was an excerpt from Henry David Thoreau's Walden in my literature book. I was approximately one and a half pages in when I realized that this piddly little excerpt was not going to be enough. Luckily, the library had a copy. I devoured it.

It wasn't like anything I had ever read. In it I saw such truth, such honesty, such wisdom, such beauty. And I fell in love. I was ready to move to a tiny one-room cabin on the shore of Walden Pond. (I'm still ready to move to a tiny one-room cabin on the shore of Walden Pond.) I try, every day, to live as Thoreau-like an existence as I can (I don't always succeed, but I keep trying). I quote Thoreau in my head on a daily basis. Two of my favorite quotes hang in my kitchen as constant reminders. My copy of Walden is filled with highlighted section, penciled-in notes in the margins, and dog-eared pages. I consider Henry David Thoreau to be a guru, of sorts.

I have been dreaming of making a Walden Pilgrimage for years. Three or four months ago, Hubby and I decided to make it happen. Take a vacation. My dream vacation. After all, we had not taken a real vacation (one longer than a half-day's drive away, one where we stayed longer than a long weekend) since our honeymoon, five years ago. Research was done. Hotel reservations made. Excitement built.

And then, three or for weeks ago, I was paying bills. (I could probably end right there. You know what's coming.) It became apparent that trying to pull together your dream vacation in three or four months could cause some financial strain where it didn't need to exist. So, reservations were canceled. Plans were un-made. Excitement turned to sadness.

And it's not forever. We will go. Just not now.

But I just can't stop thinking that it's sucky that money is so important. Such a focal point. Such a driving force. Even if you aren't a particularly materialistic person, you have to worry/think about money far more than I think it's healthy to do. There are lots of reasons, and some of them are totally out of our control. But still, you know?

If Thoreau was here in our world today, what would he say?

And would he let Hubby and me build a cabin next door?


Corinne said...

It is unfortunate that money plays such a big role in our lives, when really it shouldn't.

I know.

And I think Thoreau would let you build a cabin on the other side of the lake from him, and that would be an honor :)

Jade @ Tasting Grace said...

Some might call me irresponsible, but somehow when the choice is between life experience and money, experience usually wins - and I never regret it. (Within reason of course.) I don't say this to undermine your decision or make you have second thoughts or anything. I just mean to say, if the opportunity presents itself again, don't feel guilty taking pleasure for yourself to do something you always wanted to do, because in the end we'll remember the things we did far more than the things we bought.

P.S. You've just inspired me to pick up some Thoreau. Must see what I can find on the Kindle.

nicole said...

i love that book. you just inspired me to re-read it!

Lyndsay said...

I agree with Jade, and without Hubs I would probably be absolutely bankrupt having spent all my money on travel. For me, I wish I had an unlimited travel budget just to visit my niece and nephews. I've got 4 that live far away (plus the kids of 2 really close friends who also live far away). It makes me sad how rarely I'm able to see them.
I think that you'll enjoy the trip even more at a later date, knowing that the costs are all covered. Plus vacation-anticipation is so much fun!!

(Maybe in the meantime you could find another pond to sit beside...?)


InTheFastLane said...

I know all about money and dreams....i hate that the two have to be so connected.

Some of my dreams are also waiting for my kids to be older....

But, the dreams that we have to wait for, and still make happen have to be so incredibly satisfying when they actually do happen. At least I have to think so....