Thursday, December 29, 2005

Rock Creek Park

I took the dog and the Boy for a walk in Rock Creek Park this afternoon. We parked at Pierce's Mill and walked down the creek towards the Potomac. I explained to the Boy how rivers flow downhill, meet up with other rivers that flow downhill, and eventually run to the sea. I explained how Pop & Oma live at sea, as best I could.

The earlier cold drizzle had given way to a moist, cloudy day. The sky was brightening, but was still swimming with gray clouds. The dog was happy to run off leash, pausing where the bridges span Rock Creek or a tributary. We paused too.

I hiked the Boy up so that he could peer through the railings and down onto the river below. There were two ducks and three drakes paddling away, and the Boy noticed them. I wondered what else he noticed about the surface of the river: the rusty leaves floating by at a modest pace? The ripples in the wide section? The small funnel and turbulence where a tree branch interrupted the flow?

Walking along the wide tarmac path, I paused by a long puddle. It looked silver, filled with the gray clouds overhead. I looked into the puddle and saw the reflections of tall leafless trees pointing into its center, into the sky. It made me realize how tall the trees were -- over a hundred feet -- and how few I could identify. Maple and oak. Beech?

Then, by a trick of the light, my vision shifted focus. I found myself looking at a shallow puddle in a black road with some spent brown leaves floating in it.

The Boy was looking into the same puddle. I wondered what he saw in the puddle: the ground or the sky? Did he switch between the two ways of seeing? Did he switch between them on purpose, or did the two notions vie in his head?

I have no way of learning his mind on such matters. I spoke to him softly and we kept walking.

The dog hesitated at the puddle, and walked around it. She doesn't like getting her paws wet.


At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a beautiful walk. Wish I could have been there too.
Monkey Mama

At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MonkeyDaddy needs to add 'poet' to his resume; the description of that walk was the most beautiful thing I've read all day and will probably read all month. Then again, differential equations have a poetry all their own...

Thanks for helping those of us trapped inside to vicariously escape w/ you & the monkey.


At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Interior Design said...

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