Just before noon today, I arrived at my daughter’s soccer camp a few minutes early and picked up Walden where I had left off, at “The Ponds” chapter. As it was the last day of camp, the session went late, and I sat on the grass, watching the kids circled on the grass around their coach, saying something I could not hear at all, only the laughter in their voices. From where I sat, I saw the mound of Buffalo Mountain, a dark blue against the lighter hue of a cloudless sky. This summer’s been a stellar one for butterflies, and even in this chiefly grassy stretch they were busy, the honey bees working, too, on the clover.
Thinking over these pages, I realized this chapter is a lyrical love letter to Walden Pond, an homage to her loveliness, this common pond, the miraculous universe reflected in this patch of water.
Walden is blue at one time and green at another, even from the same point of view. Lying between the earth and the heavens, it partakes of the color of both. Viewed from a hilltop it reflects the color of the sky; but near at hand it is of a yellowish tint next the shore where you can see the sand, then a light green, which gradually deepens to a uniform dark green in the body of the pond. In some lights, viewed even from a hilltop, it is of a vivid green next the shore. Some have referred this to the reflection of the verdure; but it is equally green there against the railroad sandbank, and in the spring, before the leaves are expanded, and it may be simply the result of the prevailing blue mixed with the yellow of the sand. Such is the color of its iris.