It’s Thursday afternoon and I’m driving home from work. I’m a little blue: I’m tired from lack of sleep, I’m sick, I feel fat. My mental energy is sapped. I am a mass of melancholia. As I enter the last straight stretch before Oregon City, I glance to my left at the open water of the Willamette.
There, in the center of the riverway, is a bird (a duck? a goose?), flying parallel to the road and at exactly my velocity. The bird is skimming the river. Its flight is an arrow. From time-to-time a wingbeat grazes the surface of the water, scattering flecks of white. We travel in tandem at fifty-three miles per hour, the bird slightly ahead of my car. We race past the trailer park, the motel, the marina. For more than a minute, we seem to be joined by a fixed but invisible cable.
It is a thing of wonder. A thing of beauty.
It is exhilarating.
When I go over the hill and enter Canemah, I am no longer blue.