On Wednesdays I get the entire morning to write. Some people like to write in cafes, I prefer nature. This past one I spent on top of a rock, facing west overlooking the Schuylkill River. The current was calm but haphazard in its flow, swirling in a variety of patterns, neither fast nor slow. It matched the wind that blew sporadically along my body, surprising and calming me like an attentive lover.
I took a couple of deep, centering breathes grateful to be outside, alone and on this side of the riverbank. On the other side interstate 76 was abuzz with an endless string of cars zipping along. For a moment, I tuned in to listen to the motors churning, spinning rubber on cement, creating a whizzing noise going back and forth, occasionally interrupted by a car horn, alarm or siren. I watched this organized chaos distanced by the river and felt my muscles tighten in response. I knew soon I’d be headed in that direction.
My reverie was interrupted by the chirp of a red breasted robin perched in a nearby tree, pulling my attention back to my rock, back to my serenity. The winged one looked at me tweeting a song to a rhythm I didn’t recognize, with timed spaces I couldn’t quite understand. But all the same the musical notes worked through me involuntarily releasing my clenched muscles one by one until I smiled in relief. Satisfied with my expression the robin flew pass me heading north along the river. I watched as it flapped its wings melodically under a bridge, images of the highway and city dancing on top of the water. I took in this picturesque scene thinking about the reflective nature of water when a blue solo cup bobbed into focus. The sight of human chaos spilling over into Mother Nature’s divine flow hit me like a well-timed sucker punch. I was filled with a sense of disgust knowing that the trash was a symbol of being human, a symbol of me.
I turned my attention back to the high-speed freeway pondering human nature, with all this congestion and speed what happens to human focus? Where do we direct our energy as a species and why are we neglecting the land that feeds us? As I sat on my rock I replayed the scenes of the previous weekend:
On Saturday I worked Oktoberfest at the Xfinity center. The deal was work 12-4pm and drink 4-8pm for free. There were over 5,000 people at this event and it was the first time in a long time I was surrounded by so many human beings. I stood in line handing out brochures while the masses piled in. Some wore pretzels strung on a string around their necks (a clever way to snack), others sported Tee shirts that said things like “I don’t get drunk, I get AWESOME” and a few were clad in the traditional Lederhosen attire.
The line moved forward in a conveyor belt like fashion with people grabbing things passed to them along the way, often not making eye contact or returning my friendly greetings. Most of the time when I was addressed it was by a person holding a folded coupon in their hand asking, “Where do I go to cash in my groupon?” I answered pointing towards the Xfinity center whose magnetic pull was disconcerting.
Turn the page,
A Warrior Princess