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Thoreau’s Concord: Bounded but Infinite
There is in fact a sort of harmony discoverable between the capabilities of the landscape within a circle of ten miles' radius, or the limits of an afternoon walk, and the threescore years and ten of a human life. It will never become quite familiar to you.
Henry David Thoreau spent a life time walking the landscape of Concord, keeping a journal that stretched to 14 volumes over a span of 24 years. In his essay, “Walking,” in many ways his credo, Thoreau offers an affirmation that became the motto of the Sierra Club: “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” The quotation above, from the same essay, is an extraordinary expression of what it means to know and love a place, to abide in it and by it.
This is a Google Earth image of what I call my “Long Walk,” from Hillside (at the top) almost to Titus Mill Road at the bottom of the image. It’s nowhere near a ten-mile radius, but it is a three-hour walk through forest and abandoned farm fields that I am content to spend this lifetime getting to know. Most of it is owned and preserved by , some of it (the 1.4 mile Elks Preserve Trail, just across Crusher Road from Hillside) by the (FOHVOS).