85 degrees, at times a light breeze blows by.
An Exercise in Slightly Selfish Description:
So much has changed since I was here last. Most noticeably my favorite bench is gone! Perhaps, actually, most missed is a better phrase because there are numerous noticeably different things. The cattails and marsh grasses have sprung up, exploding new life from the sandy ground. There are primrose bushes, leaves on the trees, and flowers blooming on shrubs. Plants look alive. And there are so many people! Kayakers, fishermen — lots of fishermen — and families with young kids playing on the beach. People lounge under colorful umbrellas and kids wade in the water. Boats speed across the river and a prop plane rumbles by overhead. The water leaps and jumps. One brave mallard bobs precariously over the enthusiastic waves. Waves splash water droplets on my nose and notebook paper.
Everything is loud and light and lively today. A breeze pushes the smell of the river on you. The highway noise sometimes breaks through the tide and other water traffic. Bees zoom around; their vibrations insistently echo in the empty spaces between rocks. Children shout and laugh. The marsh grasses hiss as the wind moves through them. Birds warble and tweet from their shaded perches in the trees.
The last time I tried to come here it was Commissioning Week at the Naval Academy and the bridge was closed. The second time, Memorial Day traffic was absolutely crazy. Finally, I’ve made it. And what a beautiful day. A Saturday. An afternoon. People windsurfing, rowing, sailing, or motoring over the water. Paddleboarding, kayaking, fishing. Their lines look like spider gossamer blowing in the wind, filaments catching the sunlight. The water is a browny green. The sand burns underfoot. There is a carving of a heron that I’ve never seen before on the hill behind me. I will go and check it out before I leave.
Normally, I would be so upset that so many people are here, but really, today, I am glad. This is a place where they gather to enjoy nature. Or at least, the beauty that nature can give them. It is a used place. Inhabited. An oasis on the outskirts of Annapolis city. What good would it do to protect it from people and restrict them from using it? Isn’t it better to equip them to inhabit places like this responsibly?
Still, I would like my bench back. I miss it.