River reflections

In contemplation, Mobile
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During the pandemic I’ve been pretending that I have a bit of a walk to work. Instead going straight home again to work after taking the boy to school across the road, I head to the coffee shop down the road, and then to the river.

The baristas know me by now, and we chat while they prepare my coffee. It’s usually the only in-person, physical conversation I have during the work day. We’ve been on semi-lockdown for the longest time, and they’ve been open for takeaway only. I think they long to have the seating filled up with people again. They have a plaster bust that they display in the window to let people know they are open. Every day he gets a coffee or a different type of bun to eat, and he always wears a mask.

The text reads: “Welcome inside! We have buns, bread, sandwiches and coffee <3”

Drinking my coffee I then walk down to the river.

It is a very civilised river, like most rivers these days I suppose, in the sense that the flow of water is strictly controlled from the source up in the forest. After a period of heavy rain, or when spring suddenly heats up and melts the snow fast, they will turn up the flow of water in order to avoid flooding at the source. This river has been civilised for a long time, providing electricity for a lot of the city’s industry during the nineteenth century. That doesn’t mean the river is tame, however. It sports a lot of noisy waterfalls and currents, and last summer it flooded into several buildings near us.

Cooped up at home during the pandemic when everything is so restricted, those walks along the river grant me some much needed variety. The river is always changing, with the seasons and the weather. At one point this winter the river froze completely, and then it snowed enough that you could hardly tell there even was a river.

There are people, and animals. I’ve met a fair few of the neighbourhood cats, and watched the ducks return as the ice went.

The river is also the source of what little photographic inspiration I get these days. Strangely enough this more often than not has me making little video snippets with my phone. This thing with moving pictures doesn’t come easily to me. I usually keep my phone still and record something moving through the frame. More often than not, the river. Maybe some day I’ll get to making videos by moving the camera, but I hope the pandemic has receded before then.

(Civilised) riverbank.

Stay well! ~Jenny G.


  1. I feel a bit refreshed myself, having taken this bit of walk with you. And hoping more freedom to roam comes soon for us all.

  2. I’ve enjoyed walking along the Thames during these times so it was lovely to walk along your river too. Thank you. x

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