Standing on the edge of the small pond, looking down the bank. I lean against a strong fallen limb, which seems perfectly placed for that exact purpose. Close by there is an inlet from the river, so there is a current that moves the fallen leaves across the top. We’ve just emerged from a wooded section of the 100 acre park. We’ve walked together under the ancient, huge trees where sometimes the pond peeked through and was sometimes hidden. Cool enough for long sleeves, warm enough that no jacket is required. The sun sometimes shines through a blue sky and sometimes hides behind the clouds blowing by.
We pause to enjoy the moment of the early autumn afternoon. The sun sparkles on the water top. Precious time spent together. No need to even say to each other what the moment means, though we express it with gratitude just to be sure. Grateful that we both understand the need to be in nature like this without the need to convince or explain why.
I see a sandhill crane. Still as stone on the other side of the pond. At first I don’t see it, but my eye always looks for them at the lake, so I automatically watch now and spot it. Turns its head slowly so that it is obvious it is hunting for a fish in the water or a frog in the reed. The epitome of patience, this crane. Reminding me of days and years I thought I would never have the patience to make it to this very moment.
It is too early in the season yet for many of the leaves to have turned or fallen. There are a few. Watching those few leaves in the water, I am reminded of the flow of the river of life. Riding it gently, taking us right where we belong. I wonder how many times in the past I’ve struggled and struggled, only to allow myself to be overwhelmed by the current below and taken under the water. Miraculously, not to be drowned in the angst of the struggle but saved in order that I can now gently flow in the beauty of this fall afternoon.