Sailboats becalmed upon the silver-washed water under a pale blue evening sky.
The sun shimmers like liquid gold.
A paddle boarder slips by.
There are no ripples.
The surface of the water reflects back all that touches it and all that hangs over it.
The necks of geese with their swanlike curve, reflect as hearts floating serenely by.
The golden poplars don’t even move, their sunny waxy leaves hang still, suspended.
Shadows are long in the early evening sun
, stretching far away behind me.
A few trees are starting to blush crimson, around the edges, all the more brilliant against their greener halves.
The only constant sound is the white noise of crickets – individual yet as steady as a chorus.
Every now and then, the sound of an outraged duck or, more quietly, a wren, a sparrow, a chickadee.
Then, geese overhead, heading south in formation, calling to each other.
Children break through the sound of the calm, their bike wheels rattling over fallen leaves as they call out to each other.
An elderly Polish couple sit on a bench, discussing the perils faced by a single mother, who is surely poor and struggling, they posit.
A young father wheels his infant son’s stroller to the water’s edge. He goes about setting his camera up on a tripod, talking the whole while to the baby, telling him about the camera, the nature all around, about photography and getting the right shot. He takes pictures of the river, the trees and of themselves.
I brought my son here once, when he was two. In another life.
Shadows of the past.