I meant to write about this yesterday and it didn’t happen. So here we go now, because it was just such a beautiful day that I don’t want to forget it. (And when I say beautiful, I’m not using that in some hyperbolic, hippy kind of way- I truly kept encountering beauty all day.)
We needed to go to the grocery store to get some prune juice for Tiny- NOT for beautiful reasons, let me say- and since B needed the car, we pulled out the stroller and walked.
Between our apartments and the grocery store is a creek/river with high banks on either side. A lot of people use the area for running trails. There’s a bridge that goes across the river not far from where we live, and so we walk down to the bridge, cross, and then head down the bank to an outlet into a park. From there we head over to the store.
The area around the river is gorgeous. It’s really like you’ve stepped out of the city; and there are huge trees, tons of different kinds of birds, and lovely flowers in the spring. Yesterday, as we were walking home, there were 2 gigantic (and I’m not exaggerating, they were huge) red tailed hawks just coasting the wind currents around the river. They looped high and low in wide arcs, sometimes flying right over us. They were really quite majestic. There was a big, bare tree with 6 different nests, Zoe had a fun time spotting and counting them all. There was a tree with flaming red leaves, right in the middle of all of the green and yellow. A tiny little brown and white bird watched us from the top of a sign.
We decided to walk down the slope to get close to the river – (on a path the whole time; I may have carelessly risked my own life heading down cliffs that said “Caution Steep Edge” quite frequently in my time, but I won’t take my children down them until they’re older. Um, I mean, not at all.*), and the little details closer to the water were even more beautiful. Zoe delighted in the “little grass” poking out through the rocks, we had fun looking at the water through the cattails.
On our way home she pointed out and patted various bushes (“Momma, I like these plants!”) and enjoyed the sight of a lavender flower growing all by itself while I admired the nearby plant whose leaves were a deep reddish purple.
And I should, of course, mention the beauty of Miss Zoe herself, who was resplendent in high pigtails, a black turtleneck, red spangly tutu, pink/yellow/white/purple stripey tights, and pink tennis shoes. She greeted everyone we met with a cheery “hi!”, and in the parts of our trip when she was walking, she would do a little dance for them. It was highly entertaining.
We’re headed back to the river later today- I have the feeling it will become a regular adventure spot now that we’ve broken that barrier of actually going down near it- not just walking past it to get to the park. I’m grateful to have some place so beautiful so close to us. I love that Z and Audrey can have the experiences of being in the beauty of nature so often- it’s something I cherish about my childhood, and am glad they can have it too.
*I should also mention that as we were getting ready to head back up the path to go home, I told Zoe, “Ok, let’s go up”, and she turned, not to the path, but to the steep. almost fully vertical grassy slope, fully ready to head straight up it. I think she may be related to her Auntie. Our escapades are going to come back to haunt me, aren’t they.