I follow the steep path down to the river’s edge, using the snaking tree roots to support me and to stop me from slipping. I sit on a stone, my writer’s satchel hanging off my shoulder. It is peaceful here where the ripples lap at the earth and pebbles, and tall grasses swish in the breeze. Tree branches stretch out, reaching over the river, their thin tendrils hanging low to trail leaves down into the water.
The water is pale blue and white, reflecting the sky. A duck cuts across it, gliding smoothly between the sparkling glints of the sun. Close by, a crayfish pulls itself along the riverbed, travelling across the patterns in the sand which have been etched by the movement of the water. Further out, a seagull dives again, and again, and again, fishing.
The wind is picking up now, bringing with it the smell of earthen water, familiar, reminding me of the lakes from my past.
If I turn upriver, away from the modern buildings, I can imagine this place wild, untouched by the hands of history.
Twenty minutes later, I am driving across a bridge downriver and I catch a glimpse of the rocks and the little inlet where I was sitting. A secret space of peace and calm at the river’s edge.