Deep Travel: In Thoreau's Wake on the Concord and Merrimack by David K. Leff

By David K. Leff

Within the sizzling summer time of 2004, David Leff floated clear of the regimen of everyday life simply as Henry David Thoreau and his brother had performed of their personal small boat in 1839. Fortified with Thoreau’s observations as printed in per week at the harmony and Merrimack Rivers, Leff introduced his personal thought of conscious deep shuttle to those comparable New England waterways. His first-person narrative makes use of his ecological means of taking a look, of going deep instead of some distance, to teach that our outward trips are inseparable from our inward ones. How we see relies on the place we're in our lives and with whom we trip. Leff selected his partners correctly. In consecutive trips his neighbor and pal Alan, a veteran urban planner; his son Josh, an brisk eleven-year-old; and his sweetheart Pamela, a compassionate expert caregiver, extra their views to Leff’s personal stories as a central authority reliable in average assets coverage. no longer a lot sight seeing as sight looking, jointly they explored a geography of the mind's eye in addition to the wealthy common and human histories of the rivers and their groups. The heightened know-how of deep commute calls for that we immerse ourselves totally in locations and notice that they exist in time in addition to area. Its mindfulness enriches the event and makes the voyager precious of the adventure. Leff’s interesting, contemplative deep shuttle alongside those ancient rivers offers a technique for exploration that would increase any journey.

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Extra resources for Deep Travel: In Thoreau's Wake on the Concord and Merrimack (American Land & Life)

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Clumps of purple loosestrife frequently lit the shallows. Silver maples overhung the water and cast 2 4 t r i b u t a r y deep shadows, the pewtery undersides of their leaves fluttering in a slight breeze that felt like a warm breath. The aptly named Concord River moves quietly and unperturbed. ” I would have remained as perplexed as Hawthorne save for telltale grasses growing just beneath the surface that revealed the current’s direction. These grasses are also emblematic of the area’s Indian name and the river that runs through it: Musketaquid, Grass-ground River.

I pointed my finger across the encampment to the gambrel roofed structure with its uneven white clapboards and big twin chimneys. “Before he was sent south, Ripley returned home with some men from his regiment. ” “So this place really does have something to do with the Civil War. ” Josh looked at me expectantly. ” It was a question he had repeated often over the past year, more emphatically each time we encountered a Civil War demonstration, his tentative query morphing almost into a sure statement.

It seemed to slumber in the sun while activity buzzed around it. The uplifting rhythm of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” wafted across the field. Even beyond the cost of equipment and schlepping hundreds of miles from event to event, I was queasy about battles without bloodshed, hunger, cold, and mud, absent the fear of death or the uncertainty of an end. Was this sanitized playacting a desecration of the sacrifice made by those who fought? Did these events with thousands of participants and cavalry and cannons say more about how we amused ourselves in the twenty-first century than about war in the nineteenth?

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