A Good Morning

I was on my way to a local farm stand this morning after an early appointment, but realizing that the stand wouldn’t be open for another hour, I decided to take advantage of the beautiful morning and stop for a walk at a local park that runs along the river.

It was one of those glorious late summer days when you can taste autumn in the air, a hint of sharpness in the cool of the morning. The sky was deep blue, with a few high clouds, and a haze of smoke to the south, a reminder that summer, which for us means fire season, was still having her way with us.

A man was standing on the path with his two small dogs, one a Boston Terrier that was looking longingly towards the river.

“Good morning!” I called.

He said to me, “He doesn’t want to leave. He likes to chase the jetboats and we haven’t seen any yet this morning.”

“Oh, I remember you!” I replied, “I’ve seen you here before—I remember the boat-chasing.”

I had walked a few more feet when he called back to me, “Excuse me.”

I turned around. “Did you see the deer over there?” he asked.

And there they were, a doe and her fawn, picking their way across the grass. We stood watching them in silent wonder, even the dogs didn’t make a sound. Catching sight of us, the deer began to trot across the trail and into the brush.

“They look so beautiful when the run like that,” the man said and I agreed.

“Thank you for showing me,” I told him, and continued my walk, grateful to have shared such a lovely moment with a friendly stranger.

There were lots of people out enjoying the cool morning weather after a string of very hot days. Almost everyone was smiling and friendly, “Good morning!” “Good morning!” “Good morning, God bless you!” came the greetings as I walked along the path.

I came to the little bridge over the pond where ducks and geese swim and turtles sun themselves on logs. Two older women were on the bridge, one was taking pictures.

The other woman said to me, “I don’t see any turtles today.”

I laughed because I had just been leaning over the railing looking for them myself. “Yes, that’s what I was looking for, too,” I told her.

Two Wood Ducks swam under the bridge, among the water lilies, and I took a few pictures.

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Wood Ducks and Water Lilies

I followed the trail to another bridge, a large pedestrian bridge that spans the entire Rogue River. In the autumn you can see salmon spawning in the shallows from there, but it will be another month or two before they arrive. As I began to cross, the smell of decomposition wafted up to me from the blackberries below—something dead was hidden down there. A reminder, I thought, that autumn is on the way, death coming even in the midst of this bright and life-filled day.

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The Rogue River, as seen from the bridge

As I made my way back out of the park I continued to exchange “Good morning!” greetings with everyone I met. My heart felt full, the day seemed touched with a kind of magic. It was one of those days when I felt open-hearted and connected to everyone and everything. A rare day, a beautiful day. A day for which I was filled with gratitude. These are the moments I remember and treasure, simple times of connection that become imprinted on my heart and mind.

A good morning, indeed.