Mississippi Slough

I will take the sun in my mouth
and leap into the ripe air
Alive
with closed eyes
to dash against darkness

-e.e. cummings

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.

Those Days

view2With dreams of seats that swing and rivers that flow. When I was young the family visions of our neighborhood were a cabin in the woods on the river. Two of the neighbors on our block had cabins. One of them, living right next door, had children my age and so I was invited from time to time to join them. How golden it was  there.

During those times it was nothing for children to swim in the river unwatched. Admonishments were few but consistent: watch out for the current! Be careful of undertows! Undertows were the closest we had to river monsters. I don’t know (and didn’t know then) what they were supposed to do but they did strike us as fearsome things meant for our destruction. If you felt one slightly with your body, the challenge was to put a leg or arm into the underwater tornado while keeping the rest of the body safe. It was indeed tempting to throw the whole of self into that fast moving undercurrent, but none of us did. A challenge unmet, we swam unwatched, and unharmed.

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Both photos posted by Room With a View

And But Then…

It’s been a long time. At least it feels so to me. I’ve been dealing with the illness of others and the care and feeding (and hospital runs) for animals too. Everything quite came tumbling down. When I had the time I couldn’t generate the energy to come here. That’s odd too as I’d normally find this a place to hide out and indulge in contemplation as well as creation. A restorative thing.

But here we are, back at the self-appointed station. Walking through the mist as there’s no way of walking around it. Of course I don’t find this photo creepy at all. It’s beautiful and serene. It has the feel of places past, of lost centuries. A carriage could pass along here and it would be no surprise. If you look closely to the left, you’ll see someone sitting on a bench.

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posted by Creepy Places
And then, here below is a photo of a barge going down the Mississippi at La Crosse.
laXtribPosted by La Crosse Tribune

There’s no connection between the upper and lower photos, I just like them both. And I’ve been away. It seems the right reason, yes?

When I was little we used to sit in the park (Riverside Park) and watch the barges go by.  This is a small one by some standards. In those days there was much more river traffic than there is now.

Reflection & Syncronicity

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.

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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.

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Bob Good Photography—Mississippi River Bridge—La Crosse

Bridges & Photos & Poems

Crossing the Mississippi River from La Crescent, Minnesota, into La Crosse, Wisconsin.downtown-la-crosse-13-bridge-across-mississippi-riverThis photo posted by Audrey Kletscher Helbling on her blog, Minnesota Prairie Roots.

The bridge on the left is my bridge, the one we walked across to get from our place along the Mississippi river to the other side. Pettibone Park and the swim beach awaited there. In the park there was also a lagoon where we ice skated in winter.

The bridge on the right, the smaller bridge, was added a few years back so now each is oneway. I was shocked to see the added bridge the last time I was home. The bridges are not the same color and certainly do not match in style. What offense to my childhood!

The erasure poem posted here on March 7, 2014, is about the bridge and river and sand. It’s about this bridge and a child’s feet that walked there with the past and the future, singing with the ghosts of time.

The Heron

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Cuyahoga Valley National Park shared Andrea Nagy‘s photo.

Yes, winter is in the air this morning. But so is love, Great Blue Herons and Bald Eagles. Thanks to Andrea Nagy for sharing this lovely image. Go ahead…awwwww.

The heron. Such an incredible bird. We used to take a boat out on the river, the Mississippi, and go into one of the byways to search for rookeries. There you would find them, up high above, nesting and waiting. It always struck me as so incongruous that something so big, with legs so long and seemingly frail would nest above. It seemed they should nestle on the banks, into the mud and safety of fallen trees, broken branches. Even when you know what to expect, a surprise, up high above.