Going Down to the River

While Patrick was being a good citizen tonight and attending a town hall meeting about a neighborhood issue, I grabbed Beatrix after rehearsal and we headed to the river.

Every 12-20 years or so they apparently close up the lock near the Stone Arch bridge so that they can inspect the footings. I say "apparently" because I've never noticed this happening before, but this time I really wanted to see it. So, apparently, did the rest of the Twin Cities.

We found a spot, jumped over the "Danger - Do Not Enter" chain at the top of a rickety staircase, and joined the throngs of people (and dogs) headed down. And it was apparent, pretty much as we got to the base of the steps, that it was worth it.

There were throngs of people down there, climbing around, crossing the water on rock paths, playing music, digging up rocks and artifacts, just sitting and watching the river.

Someone (and I'm sorry, I forgot who) said on Twitter yesterday (paraphrased)  - "What if the river is the very thing that has been keeping us from the river?" I thought a lot about that as we spent 2 hours climbing around the rocks and picking up stones and looking out over the water and up at the bridge. I've lived my whole life here and don't think I have every spent that kind of intense time exploring the riverbed. There's something about the once-in-a-lifetime (or at least in-a-long-time) access to it that gave me a whole new perspective. I don't appreciate it as much as I should.

We spent almost 2 hours there and neither of us wanted to leave, knowing the water will start flowing later tonight and what we saw will be gone. Beatrix thanked me profusely for bringing her, and we discussed that it was like exploring something new on a trip.

If I've learned anything during this pandemic, it's to be damn grateful for what I have.


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