Monday, February 04, 2013

City Creek

Not far from my downtown apartment the city gives way to a meandering stream. I follow it for several miles; first on paved road, then on a trail made by snow shoes and marauding deer and elk. I am hardly ever alone: bikers, walkers, runners, doggers—huffing, puffing, nodding, muffled helloes. The tinkle of fresh melting snow joining the chorus of gravity-enslaved stream ebbs and flows as I meander up, up, up.

In the spring this snow will become my body. 
I am walking on my body. 

Tufts of oak and maple colonized rocky slopes give way to quorums of fir and spruce. I don’t see any aspen, though I long to. The creek is cuddled by tangles of squid-like birch, rose, cherry, feral apple, hawthorn, and winter stick miscellanea. I try not to think about the future; only this moment. Yet my mind wanders with the wavering tops of tall trees in the icy breeze. My feet hurt. Fresh elk poop. I hope I see one, what if I do see one? Silence. Stillness. A distant hush of water. I eat bread and cheese proudly, hungrily, dip my hands into crunchy snow, drink deeply from my canteen.

 In the spring this snow will become my body. 
 I am walking, ever so gently, on my body. 

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