Dear Mr. Thoreau

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I visited your old home by Walden Pond today. Do you miss it? I am sorry to say that it has changed. The woods are now thick, a jungle of oak and maple and bushy things. Many paths cut through, including a busy road, and the pond is often crowded, I am told; I came on a rainy day, when people of this time are inclined to stay at home.

Buoys and lines of plastic markers mark the water, telling where people can and cannot swim. Several buildings line one side, on a beach that is now called Red Cross Beach because the charity holds training there. They have also brought in more sand, and an asphalt path goes along the beach.

People pilgrimage here from all over the world, people who have been deeply moved by your philosophies. A large cairn stands by the site of your residence; there are rocks here from all over, even a piece of the Berlin Wall. Children come and learn about your ideas and experience here.

I have read some of your book. I found that your writing is thought provoking, and you speak to many things that I believe in. Maybe when I am older, I will live in a woods by a pond, surrounded by feminists and abolitionists, philosophers and writers, naturalists and hippies, and I will write and think too. I will never affect the world as much, though.

Today, I stood knee-deep in your pond, a school of fish watching my toes as if they were a preacher. I wrote this letter in my mind to you.

Sincerely, Amelia