My Fresh Pond
Fresh Pond Reservation – a reservoir and park – consists of a 155-acre kettle hole lake (the pond) and 162 acres of surrounding land, including a nine-hole public golf course. Also found here is the Walter J. Sullivan Water Treatment Facility. It's where water is treated before it comes out of the tap in your Cambridge home.
There is a 2.25-mile perimeter path around Fresh Pond. It's popular with walkers, runners and cyclists. I count myself among the walkers here. Indeed, I have been walking around Fresh Pond in Cambridge, Massachusetts since the mid 1980s.
In his book Digital Minimalism, Cal Newport advocates for the value of genuine solitude, which is to say time alone without inputs: no music; no phone; no email; no conversation. For me, that time often comes at Fresh Pond. I relish walking around the pond unplugged and on my own. I take in the water and the wind in the trees and aim to turn my brain to quiet mode. It takes about an hour to circle the pond. It's just the right distance to recharge.
For sure, I have also walked around the pond many times with my family. I remember walking around Fresh Pond with my wife when we were expecting our daughter. Fast forward eighteen years later: the three of us have taken many walks together here during the pandemic.
I remember when there was a scrappy soccer field in Lusitania Woods. The pick-up games there were epic. These days, it's more like an enchanted forest.
More than once I have been caught by a passing rainstorm while walking around the pond without an umbrella and some distance from my car. Getting soaked is liberating!
The City of Cambridge has encouraged everyone to walk around the pond in a clockwise direction during the pandemic. This is the opposite way I have walked around the pond for more than 30 years. It has actually been refreshing to walk around the pond "backwards."
I usually park at the upper parking lot in front of Kingsley Park. This wide open green space is a magnet for dogs and their owners, who gather here to socialize. In the winter after a snowstorm, the hill here is popular with sledders. Fond memories of a few fast runs here. The vibe is casual and friendly.
Fresh Pond is a little bit of the countryside in Cambridge. It's my refuge and a true place apart. I love Fresh Pond. I'm already looking forward to my next walk there!