I usually pick up trash that I find in the park and put it in its proper place, particularly if it is glass, broken or otherwise. Today I find an empty cigarette pack lying in one of my favorite fields, spoiling the view. So I pick it up, and think uncharitable thoughts about my fellow man. My equilibrium is quickly restored, however, as I walk, by nature’s fecundity.
It has been raining, and I am walking east of the Central Fields, toward Circle Lake, secure beneath my umbrella and shielded from the abundance of puddles by my boots. I press in close to the blades of grass and leaves of trees coated by the rain. Droplets form at the tips of pine needles, sassafras leaves gleam silvery green reflecting the soft rainy-day light, and I find tiny green beads forming on a Japanese hackberry tree. Columbine and golden alexander punctuate the glistening green of the rain-soaked glades.
It is at this point, wanting to know the names of everything (after all, everything has a name), that I finally try one of the plant ID apps. Golden alexanders is a new one to me. Is that really its name? Why alexanders? What’s so great about it? The app leaves some questions unanswered.
A great egret stalks the edge of the waters by Circle Lake. He seems unperturbed by the sirens and horns emanating from the Washington University medical center so close to us. Joggers and cyclists, out in spite of the threatening skies, seem not to notice him, and as long as they continue moving and no dogs appear, he, in return, pays them no heed.
I am not only appreciating nature, I am also thinking good thoughts about my boots. The great thing about waterproof boots is that when you wade in the water (children) you feel the pressure of the water against your feet, but not the cold or the wet, nor do you suffer the squish of wet socks in wet shoes.
I continue my walk along the waterway, past the Columbus bridge, across grand drive over the Lafayette bridge and in between the fish ponds. Swallows swoop low above the waters there, back-and-forth, up and down. A great egret flies overhead, looking for good fishing. Wood ducks hang out with on the pond, unperturbed by the swallows antics. I gazed and gazed, but little thought, what wealth to me the show had brought; Me and Bill Wordsworth.