Art, essay

Simple Pleasures: River Walking

One of the things I really enjoy about my current home is walking along the Potomac River with the dogs. It’s a time of day when I’m done with work, and I’m ready to get out in nature, which exists even at the heart of the city.

I love being in the presence of a river. It flows constantly and changes every day with the tides and the nuances of sunlight. I find the river endlessly fascinating.

Lately, I’ve been pausing at the edge of the embankment to see if I can spot some fish. When the tide is high, I’ve been seeing a school of elongated, medium-size fish swimming where the water meets the concrete. Maybe to others this would be a common and, therefore, boring sight, but to me it’s a wonderful opportunity to observe the fish in their seasonal movement.

I’m not sure what type of fish they are. Judging by their size, they might be a school of juveniles making their way along the river in the spring. They have a distinctive dark spot on the side, and their skin shines subtly with a light blue and red iridescence.

Watching them brings me joy. I love moments like this: being delighted by the beauty that surrounds us. The world may be turbulent–and so is nature in its various guises, for that matter–but there can be respite in the simple pleasure of quiet observation.