Riverbank Flowers

I remember being on the bank of the river when she came along. She was so cute… blonde, petite, so very, very shy. She held a few wild flowers in one hand, and with the other fanned aside the grass looking for the rare glimpses of beauty that you can only find when and where you least expect them.

She looked up, a bit startled that someone else was there, and turned as if to walk away, then stopped, and slowly, with a small smile decided to find out why I was there… She walked down to the river’s edge and looked at herself in the water then over at me… I gave a small smile, did not say a word, and waited. I could almost hear the conversation going on in her head, and that caused me a chuckle that I kept inside. I just looked back out onto the river and watched the calm solid flow go by. I did not want to intrude on her walk, or her thoughts, or her life, although it would have been nice to meet her..

I heard a light sound in her direction and even though I did not want to look around (I was afraid to look disappointed if she was walking away and looked back), I just glanced over as quickly as I could and saw her walking slowly but resolutely in my direction. It was easy to turn my glance into a smile, turn my smile into a greeting, and, standing, turn my greeting into a welcome. She held out one of her flowers to me, a silent introduction that was so appealing it was irresistible. She said her name, and it resonated in my soul (still does to this day). I answered with a small “follow me” gesture and showed her, just up the bank a small group of raspberries that were sweet and ripe, warm from the afternoon sun. The cute laugh she gave upon seeing these was a wonderful reward for a chance find earlier in the day… I gathered up 10-15 of the berries and handed then to her with the words “I wish they were rubies”.

She smiled and curtseyed and accepted them as if they were the crown jewels of a small country. She lay the flowers down on the bank and one by one popped the raspberries into her mouth. When she was finished, we both scoured the bushes for the wonderful taste each of those beautiful fruits gave to the afternoon. We were like children on an Easter egg hunt. Each find was a sweet bond that we built in a few minutes, an amazing stroke of luck, and an introduction arranged by the gods.

We went back to the river bank and talked, and talked, and explored the world in a dream, and the dreams in the world. It was beauty in a moment, and time, like the river, flowed by so softly, so surely. As the warmth of the afternoon turned to the cool of the evening we stood up, and each in their separate direction turned to leave. I watched as she walked away, then in a flurry, like a swift breeze, turned, ran back, gave a little kiss to my cheek, and ran away with a laugh that rode on the wind for what it seemed were hours, but I knew were just seconds…

I stayed on the river bank until the sun went completely down, hoping to capture the magic, and the warmth, and the beauty of the day. When it at last turned to night, I walked back to my car with dreams of raspberries and rubies and a kiss on the cheek.

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