It’s only on rare occasion that I am out of bed before my husband. Although I often wake before he does, I tend to lounge around reading or checking social media on my cell phone while he likes to get showered and started with his day. This morning, thanks to a cat-related noise upstairs, I have cut my lounging short, creating an hour of alone time. I am spending it sitting on the small platform that overlooks our stretch of the Mississippi River.
When I first sit down with my book in one hand and my morning tea in the other, the River is almost lake smooth, the only disruption the swirls and eddies that form behind each protruding rock. Small collections of bubbles spot the surface near the shore, gliding by on the current. The sun hangs proudly just above the treeline opposite me, throwing a generous handful of golden glitter across the water.
I sip my tea and read in the peaceful quiet.
A red squirrel interrupts my story with some noisy scolding. I finally spot him running back and forth on the branches of a pine tree about twenty feet above my head. He is clearly upset, and from the way he fixes his glassy black eyes on my as he sputters and chirrups, I am obviously the source of his agitation. He runs to the end of his branch and flings himself through the air. He clings to the tip of an aspen branch as it sways wildly under his weight. “Nicely done,” I tell him. He makes his way to the trunk and stares at me some more, perhaps mollified by my admiration. After a few minutes, he retraces his steps, disappearing up into the highest branches of his pine. He refrains from any further scolding but continues to express his feelings with bits of pine cone and bark.
A flock of geese are coming up the river. I can hear them debating the merits of their route. I imagine them arguing shortest distance versus least traffic. Just as they come into view, they veer off to the southeast, having apparently come to some kind of decision.
A turtle pokes just the tip of his nose out of the water for the briefest of moments.
A slight breeze sets the aspen leaves fluttering. They shimmer silver green above me as the surface of the water shimmers silver blue below. The sun is well above the treeline now, working earnestly toward the day’s predicted heat. I swallow the last of my tea and head up the stairs to feed the dogs.