Ponder this:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Reservoir walking

One day last week I met my friend Jo for an early spring walk around the reservoir. It's a perfect atmosphere for walking and chatting, handy for me to stop on my route home from the office. One spring and summer we met there a few afternoons a week to walk around and around the mile-long perimeter of the smaller of the two ponds, nodding hello to fishermen, chatting with each other, and sometimes stopping to laugh in our oxygen and endorphin giddiness at some remark passed between us. On warm summer afternoons, a welcome breeze blows down from the surrounding hills. One sultry afternoon we watched a thunderstorm develop over a westward hill. The lightning flashed in the distant dark sky and we remarked to each other that we might be in the worst possible place in such circumstances . . . out in the big wide open and surrounded by water. The gentle breeze grew gusty and voluptuous with rain and ozone scent.  We walked faster, but not quickly enough to outrun the storm; by the time we reached our vehicles, we were drenched.
I was the one to let our walking habit fall away, impatient after work to get to my hilltop home to let the dogs out and to relax with my home views.


On Thursday afternoon the reservoir was a pretty and therapeutic place to walk, flat and wide and warm, the afternoon sun striking hypnotically blinding sparks on the water. We paused frequently for my healing respiratory system to recover. Where the shade persists for much of the day, a thin layer of ice extended a hundred feet from the shore but the ponds are full of snowmelt, and the overflow roars its way to the creek. Jo and I stopped and sat on the spillway's three-foot-tall concrete wall, soothing our souls, watching air trapped behind the clear sheet of flowing water, the bubbles rising, falling, rising again like running salmon. 


Most of the Canada geese who nest there honked and gabbled on the far all-day-sun side, but one couple honeymooned on the near shore. They tipped their heads, took our measure with their single-eyed gazes as we approached, and discreetly took to the water. On our return I watched with interest as the male again and again raised his body two-thirds out of the water and dropped his heavy breast, advancing a few inches at a time. His demure beloved waited behind him, and at a signal from her gallant gander, followed him along the passage that he had broken for her through the fragile layer of ice. 

10 comments:

Fran said...

This was really nice to read. Good for the soul.

Barb said...

A calming Nature essay today - I enjoyed the tranquility of your walk. It sounds like a great place for the soul and for friendship to flourish. Have a restful weekend - I hope you're feeling better. I still have my cold!

Abraham said...

I enjoyed reading this post.

Friko said...

I love the way you bring out the atmosphere of a peaceful nature walk.

Wanda said...

How calming this was to read, I sighed with the last sentence!

Doctor FTSE said...

I love your close observation of the gander and the goose. If only people were always so kind to each other, and so helpful and considerate.

Autumn Mist said...

Oh, too short! I wanted more...

Joey said...

I love the end of your post! How gallant of him to break the ice for his love.

This made me smile.

Carolynn said...

That's so romantic! And there are those who believe that animals don't have feelings.

Laura Hegfield said...

sounds like a perfect afternoon with your friend...I love relaxed times with my dear ones...there never seem to be enough of such moments...but when they happen they are magical.