In a lot of ways, these are the carpe-est of the diems, the waning days of a beloved season and the delicious promise of the next.
So, we reach hard for every moment we can – Yes! To the apple picking. Yes! To the campfires. Yes! To the flannel and the swimsuits and the fleece. Yes! To the iced chocolate chai and the hot mug of tea.
Yes! To a cool river float on a warm Saturday afternoon.
Turns out I had no takers on that last proposal, but I didn’t care. I marched on down to the river and absolutely pretended I wasn’t cold as I jumped in.
“Feels great!” I yelled to my skeptical husband, who had agreed to float with me if the air temperature rose above 75, and made no attempt to disguise his relief when the gauge stuck at 74.
I chuckled to myself about the symbolism of my journey upriver, against the flow, and I gave him a cheery wave.
Then I set off on such a magical, beautiful, peaceful, fascinating water hike that I could not believe my luck.
Can you imagine? I had a whole river to myself!
Even beyond the scenery and the sounds, I loved the feeling of running into a swift current. The cool water massaged my creaky knees and I achieved a stride I had not felt in years. It is slow, splashy work running upstream, and I treated myself to an accompanying mind drift. I closed my eyes for stretches and let the sun reacquaint itself with the freckles on my face.
I spotted a deer eyeing me from a shady spot in the woods, and then bounding away. A little water snake zipped right toward me for a briefly alarming moment, and then, apparently unimpressed, turned away.
I didn’t realize how loud I had been galloping through the water, until I turned to float back down.
Then I settled into the silence of my old inner tube and enjoyed the forest symphony — the shrill shriek of the turkeys, the honk of the practicing geese, the splash of a jumping fish.
Once again, I could not believe how lucky I was to have that whole river to myself.
Here’s hoping you seize your own precious moments during this in between season of foliage and fun. Maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll get to spend some time in a river near you.