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Look out

Updated: Jan 7, 2020

Overlooking the river she sat alone in her lookout on stilts.

This was too high up for any flood to reach her and there was a touch of wistfulness about this, for she liked the river in full spate. She liked the way River would arrange twigs in high branches (this would always happen when she wasn't looking). She liked the way River would brag each new even higher tide mark by drawing a line with beech nuts and bud sepals (again, she never saw him actually doing this). She liked the way River wouldn't tell on her for hiding up here all day doing nothing but notice.

As usual this morning, she had kicked the ladder away, sat on the wooden bench, and opened her notebook. She held her pencil, and was ready to take note of anything out of the ordinary...

The only thing was, that today she didn't notice that she had opened the notebook upside down (an easy mistake to make as the front and back of notebooks can look similar these days), and she began to make her observations - backwards.

The river began to swirl and turn its flow in reverse. The recent storm's branch entanglements at the stone bridge freed themselves and floated up the river. Otter gave rise to a superb plump brown trout, birthing it whole out of his amazed mouth. And after carefully placing a few minnows into the shallows, Kingfisher swallowed its own song whole, and still wriggling.

Now, River realised things were going in reverse - back over old ground, wrestling with himself, undoing good work, retracing steps, not making any new ground, not getting anywhere... but he decided that today this was okay, not to have accomplished anything. Today this was okay.

Did you wonder how she got down from the look out, seeing as she had kicked the ladder away?


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