Last Sunday i was in Olympia. There’s a pond/ small lake near where Adelle lives. In months past, we’ve gone there to see several species of duck vying for the chunks of bread that we toss to them as well as lazy fat newts bobbing near the surface, chowing down on crumbs too small for the birds to notice.
It was a bit different a couple of days ago. This time the autumn sun was lethargic and low in the sky. Shadows from the nearby hills blanketed the water and the thick inch layer of ice never thawed even though it might have been above freezing at some point. There were no birds this time.
We walked to the trails end to see the salmon run. Coho, i think. Unfortunately what we were met with instead was that unmistakable smell of proteins rotting. Yes, there was a salmon run but we were there a day or two late. All we were met with was dozens of huge dead salmon stuck in whorls, branches and resting against the shores. Each pale and slightly bloated. The irony is that invisible to us, thousands upon thousands of eggs rest under the rocks, waiting for their time to make the journey that’s been going on for tens of thousands of years if not longer.
And by now the cold is starting to get to us. We head back to the car. At a certain point, we’re standing on the walkway overseeing the lake. This time the wind is upon us, stealing whatever warmth we’ve managed to keep to ourselves. But i had to stop. This pristine, perfect body of water and the sounds of the wind slicing and weaving through thousands of trees, their branches responding with a chorus of clatters and a whisper that filled the sky; unknowable in its meaning, unmistakable in its beauty. And it was all set against an unmoving sapphire sky.
I wanted to stay… just for a while longer.