There is a quiet and constant rush of the cool water by my feet. The river is shallow, and flows through, and around, a small town of less than 4,000. The river is populated by small, smooth rocks, whose surfaces have been polished for decades, perhaps for centuries…
The conifers stretch into the heavens, and glide their fingers through the clouds; they are happy. The river leads into a set of small waterfalls, perhaps 8 feet tall. It is difficult to gauge their height, for they are not dramatic. The waterfalls are wide and squat, spewing forth thousands of gallons of fresh water all at once. They are surrounded by natural bedrock which form a sort of staircase which is safe to descend. At the bottom of the waterfall there is an interminable reservoir of water. To cross it, is to understand risk, and to revel in its uncertainty.
The river continues, somewhat deeper than previously, up to my knees; however, it remains wide and majestic. It is surrounded by a forest populated by birds of all species, singing to one another, singing to me, and singing to the world. There is a bank of slate up ahead; an ideal resting spot. Past the bank the water flows under a red covered bridge— a rarity. The water proceeds to bend sharply, and dramatically flows through the town.
The local ducks take interest in strangers. There are half a dozen in this family. They live among this water and take sustenance from the river. Was this the same family I had seen earlier, with their distinctive brown, striped, fluffy, down feathers? I believe there may be an abundance of ducks in this area, who learn from the river the ways of kind hospitality, who lovingly embrace the world around them. I lay there and enjoy life with the river, sketching the ducks, as they dawdle around me.