River Paddle On A Frosty Day
Read my To Do list - threw it on the fire.
Put on my red coat.
Found two dry oak leaves in a pocket - catch a falling leaf, get a wish, I remembered, so I put them on the fire too, to let the wishes be free.
And walked back to where that tree stood bare, and further through the woods.
I found treasures, such as stacks and globs of fungus growing in turned up roots - that tree too I knew - before it fell, recalling how its roots were snaky and caught at our feet.
I found the drowned quarry blooming with algae like some suspect cauldron, stirred with weeping branches.
Heard the wind above singing in a language I recognised but could not translate.
Rested briefly at my favourite bench, a felled tree this one, left jutting over the river.
Strolled to where the river has a beach, storm strewn in flat stones; the wind chill too much for an unplanned swim by an un-furred creature.
At my feet, two heart shaped stones. Puddles have skins of ice.
But I long for the water.
Walk further, to the mossed stone bank, wind-shielded by valley hills.
Deep green, deep spongy moss where I slip off each boot, each sock, laugh at the pale glow of this skin. The water is cold, biting cold, the un-mossed rocks too slippery and too sharp - this paddle is done in less than half a minute - I love every second of it.
Sit on a dry slab, chuckling, dabbing off drips, rolling good socks onto bright feet.