My Piece of the Potomac

I get a glimpse of the River from the bus stop I wait at Monday through Friday mornings, a view framed by two, ten story brick apartment buildings.  We lived in a 400 square foot efficiency in the building on the left, our first two years back from abroad.  We could truthfully say we moved from overseas to a brick place on the Potomac River.

My Framed View of the Potomac

The view seldom fails to inspire me.  Even this snapshot between buildings affords glimpses of the many moods of the river.  This morning, the water is calm and gentle, not still, but not raging.  The Maryland shore wears a faint mist, a comfortable loosely-worn cape on its shoulders.  The trees’  green comforts me.  Near the Virginia shore, the side where I live, a herd of lily pads graze, bobbing with the gentle flow of the water.  Ever since we arrived here four years ago, a tugboat has been moored within sight of the shore, pulling nothing that I’m aware of.  It’s not natural but that’s okay.  There’s a lot of nature around here to see, even in the heart of the city, but you seldom see it without the man-made interfering.

I marvel that wild places, wetlands, forests and a river are so intimately intertwined with a major metropolitan area like Washington.  I sometimes get the feeling that nature is barely kept at bay here, that without constant work it would burst out of its bonds and take over again.

I love the river, including this view of it, but why do all my encounters with the natural world I so love seem to be bracketed, framed, fenced in, limited?  Even with the interference, the vibrant beauty of the earth socks me square between the eyes, or maybe someplace deeper.  If nature so boundaried packs such a punch, what would untamed, unframed, limitless wilderness do?  Would that muse overwhelm?  Maybe most people, me included, can only handle the raw world in controlled pieces.  Taking in these daily bits makes me want a bigger dose, but I’m grateful for what I get now, even a glimpse between two buildings.

Any view will do

About literarylee

I sling words for a living. Always have, always will. Some have been interesting and fun; most not. These days, I write the fun words early in the morning before the adults are up and make me eat my Cream of Wheat.
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