lake luxembourg...thoreau...controlled solitude

All solitude are equal, but some solitude are more solitary than others. The loneliness of Robinson Crusoe is not quite the same as the solitude of Henry Thoreau. I would define the latter as a controlled solitude in which one lives kind of divorced from society knowing that this status can be interrupted at any time if desired.

Thoreau did not invented this lifestyle but he was one of the most famous practitioner of it. All in all he lived alone over two years in a small cabin near the shore of the Walden Pond in Concord, MA. Here he enjoyed the feeling of solitude living on $28 per year (in 1845; it is equivalent in purchasing power to about $900 in current dollars) and growing crops to feed himself.

On the other hand, in all honesty the wildness of his life was slightly overstated taking into account that the distance from his cabin to the closest house was just a mile and he visited friends and family several times a week as well as had sometimes up to 30 visitors in Walden. And his Mom helped him out with laundry and food over these two years. Still it’s quite an achievement for a modern Western man.

As for myself, I also consider the solitude a very valuable part of my life but I prefer to enjoy it similarly but conversely – to live in a comfortable house and drive a mile to the Lake Luxembourg shores for my daily portion of solitude.

Its shores are extremely beautiful and completely emptied this time of the year.

Unoccupied garden benches stay here and there as reminders of a cheerful summertime.

Corn is still drying in the well manicured field.

Occasionally one can come across a lonely fisherman,

a solitary hunting heron,

a family of ducks that can’t stand each other anymore,

or a dreaming cormorant.


To finish on a lighter note, not only introverts enjoy the lake in the fall - this company of extravert turtles, herons, and egrets was photographed at the lake in early September.