Thursday, November 3, 2022

The creek in the Catskills

Every time I am here I feel this is it, this, here, this is the place, this is me, this is where I want to be. We sit on a rock for about an hour, with small forays up-river, and down. There are no trails. Just the water. The roaring. 

I imagine camping here, and realize at once that I would be frightened, all night. The sound of the water drowns everything. I would not, could not, hear a footstep, a crunch on leaves, on soil, on spring or on winter ground. The squeak upon snow or the soft depression of spring humus. I rely a lot on my sense of hearing. This true white noise would cancel everything, and that's fine if you trust there is nothing else to be heard, but I do not trust.  I am conditioned Jumpy. The Frenchman has spent nights on watch in extraordinary places because of my..."What's that!?"

For our hour we sit quietly and watch the water. We have known it -  together, always - in every season except summer. Knitted in ice, the valley guarded by icicles five feet long and hanging from ledges. In early spring, the tender, first spikes of ramps in the brown leaf litter, branches still bare. Later, when the cutleaf toothwort and the squirrel corn and the violets are in bloom. We stay away in populous summer. We don't know what it might be like, then. Swimmable. In early fall when the narrow road is hemmed by jewelweed we have stopped to watch hummingbirds feast.

Here in the leaf litter of late October sleep foam flower, wake robin, rue anemone, violets, squirrel corn - the spring ephemerals.

And here, from a car window in New Jersey, is the industrial sun setting on the brief escape that makes me wonder, every time, whether the Northeast might really, after decades, run in my veins.


November Walks


  1. How lovely to sit with your soup atop all those spring memories sleeping underground beside the rushing creek.

  2. I appreciate the effort you make in your posts: I've been following your for years, and am an occasional commenter. Today I wanted to let you know that I appreciate your artistry in photos and writing very much! It takes quite a bit of time to think about and craft entries both here and on Instagram, and I enjoy that you share your live with us. Very sorry I don't live in NYC anymore, or I'd be signing up for walks all the time. My best to and your family near and far, as Thanksgiving approaches. Despite it all, there are still beautiful things to rejoice in.


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