Bright sun, blue sky, occasional light breeze, clean clear air. Water playing its eternal music on the stones in the brook. Sunlight dancing with the leaves on the water’s surface. Minnows playing tag in the current. Cool stone, smooth rock under bare feet. Pines releasing their subtle scent upon the breeze, almost impossible to tell it’s there. Cool shade on the slope, soft moss clinging to bark and rock alike. Birds chirping idly, the occasional chatter of a bug or two. Greens, browns, and grays with hints of blue and red and yellow form the scene laid out around me. Leaves on the trees all aflutter over a wind barely felt on my skin. Warm sunlight on my face and arm, and a little in my eyes. Flowing water playing tricks with light and shadow. A water bug bouncing against the current. A spider web, barely noticed. A small fish finding a much smaller bug for lunch, the darting away to hide once more. The laughing bubbly sound of water falling on water filling the ears one moment and then fading to the background of the mind the next, but always there.

This is much bigger than me. What I see, hear, and feel is mine alone. No words I write or tell, picture I take, painting I paint, could ever capture the detail of what is all around me. Just watching a small water bug move on the surface of the water. The ripples move out from it, the shadows of the ripples on the bottom of the brook. That alone can never be told, or drawn. Only to be shared if another is with you right then.


I wrote this while sitting on a rock on the edge of Broad Brook, in Guilford, VT. This was the second day of the cross-country trip I took from September to November of 2001.

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