It is later in the day than normal. I prefer walking after sunrise. By now the sun is too high. There are too many people. The park playground is full of screaming kids and their proud, young mothers. No one notices me. I glide past them like a specter.
Just past the screeches I find the tidal pond. A human-contrived ditch, it has gotten more endearing with the years. I now identify with the water hole. As with me, nature has worn down its rough edges. The pond is a mirror that bounces back to me what is of the day. Today it is the shrillness of the gleeful children. It shines and glimmers and sparkles with noise. But looking into it more deeply, it has a darkness that belies the too-bright sky overhead. I stare into it and find a photograph. I slowly squeeze the shutter for one, sweet click. The muses satisfied, I notice that the screeches suddenly turn to cries of delight. My broodiness is left in the shadows. I am free to enjoy the day.
An egret agrees with my better mood as she flies overhead and skids into the pond, breaking up the dark reflections. I hear a child gasp at the spectacle. Then I realize that the child is me.