|The Connecticut River layered in fog. dee|
The current of the river is running fast today. The rain last night has caused the water level to rise higher than usual along its banks. I wend my way through the overgrowth of vegetation that serves to slow down the erosion of land along the Connecticut River. Since the long-ago retreat of a massive glacier that moved down through Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut, certain plants have adapted to life along the River. I see willow trees - with their deep, water-seeking root systems -- and maples - that survive flooding as readily as droughts, and shrubs, grasses, grapes and black raspberry brambles. I carefully avoid the happy abundance of shiny-leaved poison ivy, having lived through one entire summer inflamed with a reaction to the plant, I don’t want to repeat that. The path that leads to the water is narrow and sandy. When I take off my sneakers and socks and stand barefoot in the water, I hold on to a tree. I know how quickly the current can knock you off balance and send you ass-over-teakettle along with the swift current. My feet sink in the deep silky layers of water, mud and sand. The water is too dark, too murky to see past my ankles. I stand and take it all in for a moment. I am touched by the wonder of this body of water always racing, racing toward the sea.
Carl was there for me when my world when sideways. When no one was my friend, Carl was. Having him back in my life fills me with hope and possibility. Yet, I am a married woman and do not want to break my vows to Declan.
I start running home. The invasive fog that had obscured my view of the other side of the river is starting to lift, a little earlier than usual. The cool temperature of the river meets the warmer air aloft and creates a dense fog layer that can saturate your clothes even if you haven’t been running. Carl’s denim shirt has turned indigo blue from the moisture in the air. I tried to dry my feet after plunging them in the river, but to no avail. They, too are wet. I settle into a very slow jog to cover the distance to home.