you are the mirror

you are the mirror

Where shall you seek beauty,
and how shall you find her
unless she herself be your way and your guide?
And how shall you speak of her
except she be the weaver of your speech?

. . . beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.

~Kahlil Gibran, (1883 – 1931)

up & down the river

0190_up & down the river

“I wish I was back there piloting up & down the river again.”

~Samuel Langhorne Clemens, (1835 – 1910), letter to Jane Clemens, October 1865

0190_ up & down the river 2

The essence of summer: skipping stones across the Mississippi at sunset. [Silhouette of a bronze sculpture by Ted McElhiney, a local artist.]

where time just about stands still

0079_River ramble

It’s Saturday night. Blessedly, there isn’t a shred of obligation between us – a rare occurrence these days. After dinner, my husband and I hop in the car, turn off the air, slide open the moon roof, roll down the windows, turn up a little Turtle Island String Quartet, and cruise down to the mighty Mississippi.

We park our car and slip out, twine our fingers together, walk hand in hand. There is so much we could talk about, but not talking about things is what we’re aiming for tonight. This time is reserved just for us. We suspend words, walk side by side, take in the view, fall in with the water’s pace. The great river has already begun to work its magic: we feel ourselves begin to mirror the Mississippi. Our steps slow, we move with the current, we meander along. As this gradual transition from modern life into natural life takes place, we grow more serene, more reflective.

After a time, we choose a graceful wrought iron bench beside the shimmering river, where crepe paper ribbons of brass and agate and onyx furl and unfurl in endless combination. We sit down, settle in, stretch our legs, heave a collective sigh, and let the long, long week unravel.

Evening arrives, sweet and slow. Birds hush as crickets rosin up the bow. Right on cue, and impossibly gorgeous as it glides seamlessly upriver, a riverboat chugs prettily past. It’s a picture postcard, a many-layered cake covered with candles and pink icing.

As sunset bronzes the muddy water that slips endlessly on towards the Delta, a pelican spreads broad, black-tipped wings and soars across the sky, circling on soft summer thermals. A fingernail moon appears. Then, the evening star.

How good it is to live in this sleepy little river town — a place where time just about stands still. Peacefulness is palpable here, just ripe for the plucking, and an easy evening like this offers an irresistible invitation to bundle up cares and worries, set them adrift, and watch as they fade from view.