I consciously breathe and unpack my weekend trip to IN where I briefly was able to visit with my mother. Reflecting on the uncertainty of her remaining years, and my own path in the coming year, I put out an intention and try to be open for guidance. Just then I hear the distinct calls of a heron (or two?) and turn toward the sounds. After a few seconds I locate two barely discernible birds in flight along the waterway. It’s an awe-inspiring experience as the vague forms of these majestic creatures slowly stroke the thick, misty air and their calls echo on the water and even seem to resound on the short cliffside across. They head upstream and then a third suddenly appears and breaks away, circling back downriver. Yet again, the timing seems uncanny. I can only smile.
It’s just above freezing and the scenes this morning are so softly beautiful I’m transfixed. Silhouettes of trees frame scenes in every direction, like sumptuous stage sets opening up every few minutes along the stroll. I cross the bridge and encounter a few other folks walking. I head off the path, down toward the water to give them their space and to retain my own frame of mind. The knee-high golden weeds are damp so my steps make only a delicate muffled crunch as I stroll within the scent of the river. I glance toward the eastern sky and for an instant catch the stunning view of the rising sun as a white circle, peeking through silken curtains of clouds above a field of earthen-toned grasses. Just then a former partner texts me and sweetly asks about my trip and mother. We share in a quick exchange. Grateful to have such caring friends, I return to the reverie of my communion with the river way.
Randomly, I breach the buffer of trees and step down to the water to listen to the river. I turn off my phone and snap a few shots of the scene downstream. Elegant red-maroon brambles at the water’s edge offset percolating white, jade, and silver-gray water, which rushes across ochre, gold, and russet river stones, worn smooth over eons. I sit on my haunches, rub my chilled fingers, and glance upstream where the bank is keeping the jewel-like colors hidden in veils of mist and shadow. I take a photo, and only then do I notice (of course!) the great blue hunched tightly for warmth, almost directly across on the opposite bank, watching me. I click a few greetings, and apart but together, we each sit still and take in the river’s song. Eventually, I slowly rise, bid adieu, and as I enter back into the human-focused world, make a conscious effort to take some of this larger, richer world with me.