During a bout of winter flu, I became one with my family room sofa. Hubby couldn’t tell the difference between us — except that the sofa looked livelier.
Between his patients and me, my doctor husband had been doing care 24/7. When I eventually felt better, he couldn’t wait to get out of the house. “Would you like to take a walk?”
“Sure,” I said. So what, if my brain waves were still AWOL? Enough of the four walls, even if The Weather Channel declared that it was 25 degrees, but felt like -25.
My only exercise had consisted of visits to the fridge (“Stuff a fever, stuff a cold”), so I needed benches where I could rest atrophied limbs. Hubby didn’t want to drive far. Where to go for the nature walk we craved?
We ended up at a nearby town park. Bundled like Nanook and Nanette of the North, we strolled across a pedestrian bridge that spanned icy, silver-blue water. The river flowed, mirroring black-limbed trees, some still draped with fall’s russet finery. Snow patches sparkled in the sunlight. A deep quiet had settled over much of its hibernating shores.
Those whose winter vistas include oceans and beaches might consider the river view akin to an arctic Hades. But on this chilly, sunshiny day, the sharp air tasted like heaven.
Despite possessing wings, clumps of geese and ducks had not succumbed to the siren call of the balmy South.
Perhaps feathered relatives, perching on beach pier posts, shook their heads about their kin’s staying in Indiana.
“Must have made a wrong turn,” one goose told its mate. “Your family never could find their way out of a chicken coop.”
However, the river ducks and geese acted as if they liked it, despite swimming against the current. I had never seen waterfowl swim sideways before.
Maybe they couldn’t find their way out of a chicken coop.
They all quacked and honked at us: “You own a warm house with central heat and a fireplace, yet you’re freezing to death out here. And you think we’re stupid?”
They had a point. Above feathered rants and raves, I heard the family room sofa calling me, and Hubby agreed our winter river walk should end.
I returned to the sofa a little longer. The river community also will remain largely subdued. But an undercurrent of life, stronger than the river’s, flows through the dormant shores. And through me.
Who knows? Maybe even my brain waves will return.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Can you remember a favorite river walk?