Monday, September 22, 2014

Thinking place ~ my column from Sunday's paper

I've spent a great deal of time near water these last few days. There’s something about waning light at summer’s end, or maybe it’s something deeper that I don't yet understand, but I'm drawn there. Driving by without pulling in for a few moments is not an option for me.

Like today, Jilda had worked hard on projects that had lingered on her to-do list for months. She'd planned to cook, but I offered to handle dinner.

She eyed me suspiciously. Her concern was valid because I only cook two things, chili and cornbread. We rarely eat chili when the weather outside is hotter than Lucifer’s boots. Actually, I do make a mean waffle on the spiffy waffle iron she bought me for Christmas, but we normally eat those as the sun’s coming up, not going down.

She agreed to let me rustle something up, so I headed out the door with keys jangling in my hand in search of chicken.

The trip took less time than I’d allotted, so on the way home I swung by the river. The water at sunset is amazing. It looks somewhere between the alpha and omega — a gap in time where things move at a slower pace.

Watching the mist lay on the water as the sun casts long shadows is how I imagine time, before it began, or maybe after it ends.

This evening when I pulled in, there was a pickup parked in the lot. Normally when you see a vehicle, you see people at waters’ edge fishing, wishing or skipping flat rocks across the emerald water. A good rock thrown side armed will skim across the surface like a water bug. But today, I saw no one.

When I flipped off the switch and stepped out, I saw a man sitting in the cab of his pickup with the windows rolled down.

Greeting him casually, I said “I love the river this time of day.” He nodded slowly and said, “I come here to think.”

I nodded knowingly and stepped down to the grassy bank. It’s easy to understand why he comes here to think. For people living in the area, it’s one of the few places within driving distance where time moves at the pace of the lazy river.

This place changes daily from season to season. Soon autumn will be here and the colors will change. It’s a living slideshow with a soundtrack of waterfowl, feeding bass and otters frolicking on the surface of the cool water.

As I stood there this evening, it struck me that this place is like the portrait taken of people during different seasons of their lives. In the spring, it thrives with life and energy. In summer, you see lush foliage and could see things grow if you stood there long enough. In autumn, it ties up loose ends, and winter it rests.

I thought to myself, everyone needs a place like this. It’s a beautiful thing to see, to experience and to acknowledge.


  1. Sounds like the perfect place to think and seems to play out its story, and we think and reflect on it later in places like this.

  2. I agree Rick, we all need a place where we can just go and get lost in time and our thoughts :)

  3. When I was a young girl, there was a little clearing in the wooded area in the back of our house where I could feel a tranquility and it felt like such a special place to me where I could be alone and listen to the birds and see the sun rays coming through the top of the trees. It was shady and cooler on a hot summer day.
    There was a branch where I could hang upside down and just dangle there by my feet for long period at a time.... I know it sounds silly but to me it was like a sanctuary and that place beckoned me to visit often. That place of yours sounds just like that, only it's by the river.

  4. You use your words well, boyfren.


  5. It does indeed sound like a great place to relax and think

  6. We all should find a special spot to stop and think and put things into perspective. Yours looks and sounds perfect!

  7. Beautiful place; I love the view!

  8. There are some places that just seem to draw one 'to think'. And if you have a lot on your mind, you need all the help you can get.

    But there are times when a mind just needs caressing, and can enjoy such a sight...

  9. Anonymous5:58 PM

    I need a thinking place!!


Please consider sharing

Email Signup Form

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required