Watch the river gliding past, light flashing on smooth stones close under the surface. Droopy weeping willows drift by, their leafy hair hanging down into cool pools of shade.
A cornfield in open sun, making sugar from light and air, beyond a grassy knoll at river’s edge. Mud thrown up on the banks from spring snowmelt and summer rainstorms. Water gently lapping away at slippery rocks.
Uh-oh. That’s not calm water up ahead.
Sharp, glinting river, tumbling over rocks and the occasional log. Rushing like the wind. Canoe grating on the bottom. Skidding to a halt. Now the world’s caught us again, and the river is dancing away on its own.
Bother. Get out and walk.
After too many awkward steps we’re floating downriver, calmly watching the world drift by. The surface is still and flat and motionless but for a few eddies near the bank. We’re going under a bridge. Lapping water echoes off the concrete underside just as the sunlight does, sending liquid patterns dancing above our heads.
Blue sky. Ancient trees reaching for the sun. Their roots are in the river. They won’t last forever.
Did I hear thunder? What’s that big black cloud doing in our nice blue sky?
Quick! Paddle for the lake!
The sunny sparkling world goes eery still as the cloud covers the sun. The first rush of wind tears through the treetops, sending loose leaves sailing through the air. Then the rain comes, first a patter, then a pour, and the still water dances all around us.
Blink. Raindrops shroud the banks. They plummet into the river, wash the trees, cleanse the air, and unite the world gone still.
Our canoe is a bathtub. It’s nice to have my toes in the water. Sunbeams reach around the clouds as the rain keeps coming. The river is shallow and wide. The canoe hisses as she floats over aquatic plants, land made of solid green and no substance down below.
Lake Delta stretches out before us, a puddle for giants, a playground for canoers.