At the Stewart Park Promontory
- Temperature: 44 degrees
- Wind: 11-16 MPH
- Clouds: NO! Blue sky, sunny day!
Humans and Animals seen:
- People walking and driving by the lake
- A few old fellows with their binoculars
- Ducks on the water
- Gulls overhead
- Geese on the grass
I start by pulling off my outer-layer jacket. The sun is high and there is little wind, so I know I won’t need it. The park beckoned me today. I didn't have to come, but this week offered a break in the harsh freezing temperatures. Everything was melting, and I needed to see how the Promontory was changing.
I am blinded by white. Sunlight reflects off the crystals and surrounds me, pierces me. If I cup my hands together around my eyes, like binoculars, I can look through and see the world around me. Otherwise, I squint, look down at the pathway, or close one eye.
A black dot weaves through the air in front of me. It takes a second to register what it is. An insect! I haven’t seen one of these in eons. My head is warming. I pull off my orange hat. My ears don’t freeze. Even when the wind gusts up.
The small, west-side beach is still covered in snow, but here and there a rock pokes up through the snow, a log juts out, a root is revealed. On Fall Creek, right where the creek pushes into the Lake, there is water. Not gaseous water—not clouds. Not solid water—not ice. But water, clear and movable and splashable water in its liquid form. And, there are ducks on it. Cavorting. Talking. Landing and taking off. They are just as excited as I about the break in the solidity of Fall Creek.
I sit on a dry rock and take off my gloves and stuff them into my fleece pants pockets. I didn't need these thick, black pants. I unwind the scarf from my neck and lay it on the snow-free log next to me.
There is a sycamore bending over the snowy beach. I've noticed it before. Today I look closer. The trunk rises at a 45 degree angle from the shore, its bark camouflages it against the snowy landscape. Some of its seed pods dangle like ornaments from the empty branches that reach for the blue sky. It’s ready. I can tell. There is a vibration humming under those patches of tan and white and gray. The tree is still waiting, but less patiently. It is time to awaken.
I unzip my fleece jacket, turn my face to the sun and close my eyes. I sit like that for a while. Following my breath. I listen to the gulls cry above, the splash of water birds, a barking dog, the drone of the city as it winds through another March afternoon. I could spend all day here, just sitting, soaking it in. It’s the first time in months I feel my body uncoil, soften, and sink down closer to the earth. The slowly warming earth.
On the way back to the car, I peel off my fleece coat. I know I’ll need it again before spring officially comes, but today I throw it over my arm and let the sun and wind whip right through me.