I ran away from home yesterday. Oh, not very far, and only for the day. I motored down to Clayton, on the mighty St. Lawrence River, parked the car, and spent a few hours wandering on foot through part of the the town, but mostly just sitting by the river, in the breeze and the sun.
I found a handy bench overlooking the river. I could see dark blue water with little tiny whitecaps formed by the breeze; I could hear the waves lapping against the rocky shore, and also hear the wind in the nearby trees. I could see and hear a few motorboats out on the river. I could see a short line of Canada geese moving from one small bay to another; I could hear their plaintive honking. I could see puffy white clouds all around, except for clear blue sky directly overhead. I could see a black and orange butterfly go by, struggling to maintain some semblance of control in the breeze, which must have seemed like a hurricane to its delicate little frame.
There was a lone sea gull sitting on the water, riding gently up and down in the swell. And there was a little tour boat, built on a catamaran hull, just leaving the dock. It was very peaceful there, more peaceful than I had anticipated, with far fewer people, at least here outside of the downtown shopping area.
I had to move out of the direct sun – tough on a pale Anglo-Saxon like me – into the pavilion just erected by the village of Clayton. The pavilion is meant to be reminiscent of the old train depot that was once nearby; it has plenty of chairs and benches, and even a platform for small outdoor concerts. Very nicely done, I must say.
Another bird flew over the water’s edge. Large, dark, a fairly longish neck, about the size of a goose – but NOT a goose, nor a heron, by the way it flew. I wondered if it might be a cormorant. I checked later, and am reasonably certain it was indeed a cormorant, a double-crested cormorant, common in these parts, though this was my first sighting on one.
It was just a bit noisier there in the pavilion, since it was that much closer to downtown. There were some folks fishing from the docks off to my right; some people swimming directly in front of me; and some sunbathers off to the right, beside a lovely double-masted sailboat. A little later, one of the huge lakers chugged slowly downriver. The breeze began to get a bit stiffer as I sat there.
I stayed there for just a little while longer. It was nice to be out of the house, away from the phone, the housework, and all the million and one things that needed to be done. I was extremely reluctant to leave. But all such little interludes must end, sooner or later. Life’s demands beckoned.