Sunday, September 26, 2010

Swim More Rivers

It's a gray Sunday afternoon, not like yesterday, when we went to the river. Claire swam with Dad, aka Pop Pop. The two of them rolled around in the water like a couple of young otters.

Michael fished the riverbank, turning over rocks for worms. I strolled along the water's edge in search of a smooth river heart- stone. The air was soft and warm, dreamy. Tiny swirling leaves dropped into the water whenever the breeze kicked up.

I always get melancholy this time of year. It sweeps up on me unexpectedly, until I remember, it's September, the season of beginnings and endings/ reds and golds everywhere/ yellow sun dappled trees. All around things are falling, ripening, letting go into something new. 

Our river day reminded me of a short piece called "If I Had My Life To Live Over" which I've read at weddings and funerals. It was written by Nadine Stair, an eighty-five year old Kentuckian. She begins: 

I'd like to make more mistakes next time. I'd relax. I would limber up. I would take fewer things seriously. I would be sillier than I've been this trip. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers..."

"Are you waiting for me to go in, honey?" Michael asked.
"Yup," I said, "It might be our last swim for the season. You have to."

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall...

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