Sitting by a River
By Russ Havens
I've been busier than usual for the past four months, traveling from coast to coast, visiting family and friends. But now I'm home again. You know how good that feels if you've been away for any length of time. Now that I'm re-settled, I'm reluctant to go much further than the nearest towns.
There are many places to hike, climb mountains, or take a leisurely stroll in this sweet, rough, north country of New Hampshire, where I live. And this past week, a warm surge of spring drew me outside every day.
Spring's scent floats through the air. The last dirty piles of plowed snow are drying up. The gray woods and matted amber meadow grasses are being lightly sprayed with hints of green. Buds are at the tips of the lilac bushes.
I walked along a familiar path that follows a small river through the woods and meadows. And then, I did something I failed to do on all my other walks.
I stopped walking and sat down in the matted grass above the river.
I just sat there and watched the river as it flowed over a ledge of smooth rocks -- happy, gurgling sounds, like a kid enjoying a slide in the park.
Then I realized the matted grass that looked dry wasn't. The wetness soaked through my pants. But my wet butt actually felt good.
At first, my mind continued racing, much like the water down the river. I had my camera with me and took photos, trying to capture the experience visually while at the same time realizing that feelings can't be digitized. While I thought about how cool it was to be sitting there, listening to and watching the water, enjoying the warm, spring day, my thoughts were as busy and rushing as the water, skipping from stone to stone, splashing, swirling!
Gradually, however, the flowing water drew all the busy tension out of me.
It's surprising the crap that you drag around with you, day in and day out, isn't it?
Finally, like spring itself, I just sit there, wet ass and all.
I get up and walk on.
Another nice thing about living where I do? By the time I got to where anyone might notice, my pants were dry.