January 23, 2005 Edwards Crossing
Waiting for this afternoon’s phone call is making me nervous. There is a lot I want to say. I want to be clear and calm and not misunderstood. Restlessly I fidget with little tasks around my place, not really accomplishing anything except driving myself crazy. I get in my truck and drive to Edwards Crossing on the South Yuba.
It’s cold when I open my door so I immediately head to the other side of the river, across the bridge, to where the sun brightens the granite and water. I find a trail heading down the hill from the road, passing a small boy who is piling sand in mounds connected by his intricate system of troughs that he ploughed with a stick, and make my way to the rocky bank still wet from the recent rains.
I drop my backpack off on a rock and continue to the river’s edge. The water has dropped fast. Bending down, I hold my hands in the cold water until they start to burn with the cold, scoop up a handful of river and douse my face in a greeting. I then turn and join my backpack on my chosen rock.
Little beads of water cling to the granite like sweat. Moss crawls through crevices lacing through the rocks, bright green, soft lines. Brilliant mirrors of water sit in basins in the rocks, accenting the smooth gray granite. Battalions of tiny bugs float in the light as if dangled by invisible strings held from somewhere high above. It’s getting colder. I pull my sweatshirt hood over my head and watch my breath as it leaves my mouth and dissipates in front of me. My attention is caught by a thin strand of light dancing lightly up and down to my left, a single thread of shining delicate spider web.
Abruptly the rocks shift to a deep, cooler gray and I now can only see the bugs that are right in front of me. The puddles of water are no longer sky mirrors, but instead I can see through the water to the bottom like windows. Brown leaves and grit line the rock bowls. I shiver looking down the river past the horizon line to plot my line over the drop. It’s bony, lots of rocks, with the river being lower. The boy has come down by the river now to dig in the sand. He doesn’t seem to be cold. I hunch over my notebook more for warmth than anything else and can barely hold my pen in my hand to write. My quaking nerves over the immanent phone call have given way to the shaking of physical chill. As cold as I am, I still don’t want to leave the water, but I do. I think it would be a good idea to come back tomorrow earlier when the sun is still high.