A creek cuts sinuously through the backyard wilderness of my parents’ housing complex. The folks are out of town so I walk the dog. Our path hedges the rolling waters and we stroll through the morning with the fresh scent of autumn moisture in our nostrils. I am utterly transfixed by a stick. Its smoothness, stripped of bark and weathered by the constant current, knots invitingly. In a moment of incandescence, the world is utterly centered within the shining ivory stretched between my fingers, then… it is just a stick. Dropped on the rocky ground, it rocks choppily from two points on its knobby length as a breeze ruffles the creek’s surface. A stone captures my attention from beneath the energetic waters.
I plunge my hand into the cold water to retrieve the stone.