across the river

The morning air is fresh and clear, cool, almost cold. For a November day, it isn’t so bad though it turns out to be chillier than I had expected when we’d made plans the night before to finally head out along the property to try to cross the river. We’ve walked along it before but at one point it curves back inward and blocks up the path to head along the rest of the way. It’s a distance off but nothing we haven’t really seen or walked before.

Yael has double checked his garden, he looked it over yesterday to make sure it would be fine on its own today. A routine check more than anything else. I know how much he worries about it. He takes such good care of it, like a lover almost though I know better. I might have been tempted to turn to jealousy if I hadn’t known better though it hardly is like that.

It’s not that he spends that much time taking care of it, he doesn’t need to. His natural gift with plants helps a lot and at times we honestly have too much of everything, even after we’ve dropped stuff off to everyone else. That had happened with the apples and through a lot of cooking and baking (he did most of it) we worked that quantity down to a more manageable level.

I wrap a scarf around my neck, finding my gloves. The crisp air is something I’ve learned to not underestimate, I like my fingers where they are at and they’re more important than the rest of me. I zip up my coat, straighten the scarf and shrug the small backpack on. We both have one of those, just a few snacks, a flashlight just in case though we don’t imagine we’ll really need it. We also each have one of those portable little heat packs. I’m not really sure what they are. They’re little heart-shaped gel-things, when squish them once and they warm up for a few minutes, it’s good for holding between the hands to warm up for a little bit. Yael found them and I love them to bits.

I turn to him, a smile to my lips as I just watch him finish to tie his boots on, he’s already got his coat and scarf on and I assume his gloves can’t be very far.

We’ve played with the cats, we’ve fed them, we’ve made sure to leave them plenty of toys before heading out. I know they’ll be just fine on their own but I suppose that these cats are, to me, what Yael’s garden is to him. The whole thing holds a certain note of amusement for me considering he’s the one who asked to have an animal in the house.

Once we’re finally wrapped up warmly in our clothes, backpacks on and walking sticks found—not that we need walking sticks but they make getting through certain areas a lot safer—we head out and into the cool morning air. The sky is cloud covered though it’s a slight cover, I can still see patches of blue up there. The breeze is a little cold on my face but I know that this is nothing compared to the winter winds we’ll eventually have once the seasons change and turn again.

We walk in relative quiet, the crunching of leaves and fallen branches the only sound that accompany us. We follow the river until it cuts through our pathway. From where we stand, there is no way across without going through the river, it blocks the way to the rest of the property through most of its width. I know it curves back towards its proper bed further down the side but that would add at least another hour to our walking.

Yael stops at my side, looking down to the mostly empty river bed. During spring, it overflows from all the melting snow and ice. In the summer it has a small bed and we could probably waddle across if we felt like it. In the autumn however, it seems to dry up. It doesn’t make much sense as far as I can tell but that just seems to be out it works. There’s still water up to our ankles and we both know that we can’t just cross it that way.

We head down along its length, looking maybe for a large tree that might have fallen over or just some bigger rocks that could help us cross. After fifteen or so minutes, we spot a mix of both. On our side, there’s the tree, its fallen trunk dipped into the water though where it does reach the water, there are a couple of larger, flat rocks that sit somewhat above the water, just barely, that we can use to cross.

We share a look, just a brief one and I head down first. Yael is more agile than I am but his reflexes are also better than mine, if I look to be tipping over, he’ll be able to catch me. I don’t expect to be tipping over but some things do tend to happen when you least expect it.

I make it across without a hitch, Yael not far behind me. We move back out of the nearly empty, though not quite, riverbed and start walking again. I don’t know what we’re expecting to find and I imagine Yael isn’t either. I know there is a lake of sorts at the very edge of the property, I’ve only seen it in the plans though and it’s too far from the house to actually try to reach it during a single walk. It’s not something I even want to attempt in this cooling weather. We’d have to ask the twins to come over to take care of the cats if we did this as it stands.

We walk, quietly, peacefully. Another hour almost and eventually the river does cross our paths once more. I’m starting to think this thing snakes around along the property for a while, it must lead to the lake. I don’t really imagine it any differently. We settle where we’re at, setting out a thick blanket and sitting down. We bring out our snacks, having a light lunch where we stand. We figure that while we could keep on walking, it might just be best to head on home. Another day, in the return of the warmer season the next year, could be set up for us to walk deeper, to the edge and end of our property.

After a bit of rest, we pack up what little we’d brought along and we set back off again. When we get back to the rocks and trunk, Yael goes first this time, across the rocks, up the trunks and to the other side. I follow suit, nearly slipping on the rocks but I make it across without getting my feet wet.

“I should have brought my camera.” Yael’s gaze is up to the trees, most of their leaves surprisingly still present though their range of colour is absolutely beautiful.

“It’s not as though we can’t come back on another day, one preferably with less cloud cover.” I walk up to him, curling my arm through him to lead him back home. He chuckles and goes with, not really fussing to trying to stop me. I know he knows I have a point. This is our land, our property. We can come back out here any time we might want for him to take photos so he can paint them or do whatever it is he might want with them.

Once we step out of the forest, I stretch, a slight yawn coming to the surface. I have to admit that it has been some time since I’ve last really just walked for the sake of walking, it’s a good exercise, I really should do it more often.


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