Early twilight, I watched the silver sky diffract and ripple in the gunmetal sheen of the river below my feet. In front of me a pollen-encrusted spiderweb fluttered in a gentle breeze that felt like a lover's whispers. Worn wood, pitted iron bracing and the smell of sun-warmed creosote fading in my nostrils. The chuckle of water over rocks soothed me. Ten heartbeats of reflection took me back to my youth, and those spring evenings hanging out on the train trestle down the road from my house.
I tarried only briefly in that pool of memory. Traffic noise and passers-by broke my reverie. To my credit, I felt no irritation, only gentle joy. A river flows, far from the waters of my boyhood home, and carries me back and forth through time. Change is constant, the saying goes, and the river is an exemplar of the proverb. I leaned on the rail of the bridge to look closer at the water. I don't know what I was looking for, exactly. Maybe a way to divine the future, tell my fortune in the patterns on the surface.
The river said nothing. Not that I could hear with my ears, anyway. No, what it said was meant to be heard by the heart and the soul. The water flows to be broken up by stones and roll over sand. It rejoins itself. It cannot know clearly its true path, only that it flows ever onward to someday join the sea. Not unlike myself.
This I learned from the river, when it spoke to me.