I will take the sun in my mouth
and leap into the ripe air
with closed eyes
to dash against darkness
This photo is an almost exact rendition of the Mississippi slough where my first love kept his skiff, a fishing skiff. It was one of the first places we went together and we spent many days on the Mississippi, swimming, fishing, boating. It’s where our families gathered in boathouses for meals and drank not a few beers. (The river is a natural coolant in summer.) Our dogs ran on those beaches, our children learned to swim against the current, and we learned together how to launch our boats. The best of days—river born.
These photos are from Bob Good Photography, taken at Lawrence Lake near La Crosse.
I look at these, walk down the dock and I can smell the scent of the water and fish, feel the slap-slap movement of the boards, know the calls of the birds skimming the water. For so many years summer life centered on the water and the boathouses there. Beer was kept by being dropped into the cold of the river. (Fish nets put to good use.) Many a beer, many a fish fry. Diving off docks, swimming against the current.
It’s where we lived, it’s where we played and slept. Then you could keep boathouses directly on the river and ours were docked just past and under the big Mississippi bridge that crossed over to Minnesota. When those were gone we were not allowed to replace them. Time moved on, faster than the current and quicker than a walleye jumping for a June bug.
Now these photos below of the lake are for a different story. The one that will be told of lakes and eddies where it’s still okay for the parking of the boats and boathouses. They’re not on the Mississippi; they’re not in the way of the main lane for the big boats, the new business of summer, the new Riverboat Queen.
And so it goes—another bridge built, another song. And I wonder how they keep their beer cold?
I was reflecting on the old home town, and the photos arrived on Facebook. That is such a lovely gift from the Universe. (Although and until I’m sure that the waters did it—moving from one place to another as is its way.) The view below is of Riverside Park, where so often we went with parents and children and sometimes to eat a lunch and watch the river flow by. The view behind the eagle and the street lights is as the street moves up through the town.
Bob Good Photography—La Crosse, WI—Riverside Park
And below is the photo of the Mississippi with the La Crosse bridge in the background. With the bridge seen from this perspective you can see how the one-way pattern of each blends together to create a lovely picture. That effect cannot be captured when viewed directly with the traffic flow. The photo was taken from the back of a boat so that is the wake from the motor that we see curving out behind the boat, in front of the bridge. Another lovely merging of arcs. Viewed as a whole, it appears to form a circle. The river, the bridge, the sky.
Bob Good Photography—Mississippi River Bridge—La Crosse