I went down to the river today. It felt like touching the feet of God.
I hadn’t driven a car in a month. Weeds were growing around the tires. My phone was dead so I drove there without a GPS. I felt grappled to the earth. I got lost.
Cars were parked all over the shoulder by the trail heads like beetles to nectar.
Sometimes you can be too safe. Like a plant in a pot, your roots go round and round and nowhere. The walks we take around our neighborhood. Nature is not tame like this. Landscaped bushes, tulip beds, Dogwoods placed like armchairs in the corners of yards.
In the woods, trees are dangerously high. Others lie dying at their feet. Black Vultures circle high at the edges.
Table manners, Office 365, social media headshots, calorie counts, rankings: what does all this matter?
Violent beautiful nature. I feel calmed, sobered.
I came back to the river at sunset with my family. I want to give them more than errands for shampoo and canola oil, or bike rides to parks where security guards shoo us away.
We take foot bridges over the punching water of the Potomac. It rips over black bedrock. Diana is scared. She knows the river can kill you.
I want to know that it is possible to die. This fear stops me from tinkering with dials and buttons, and makes me look up at the sky, and feel the clay under my feet.