A Walk in the Park

Because these near 60° winter days must be seized when we are able. Because two dear friends suffer life-threatening illnesses, each managing it in her own gracious yet fierce way. Because a young family member can’t seem to pick a path. Because nothing cures melancholy like fresh air and sunshine.

City Park Hawk

This hawk stayed nearly motionless on the lamppost as hawks do, seemed to mind its own business, but the solitary seagull was unhappy about it, circled, shrieked, and dove a foot above the hawk’s head a dozen times before giving up and flying away. Once or twice, the hawk turned its head as the seagull approached but otherwise never moved. Hawks are accustomed to such hostility—regal though they are, they’re predators, after all. Pity, that human predators are not as easily identified.

Geese on Ice

Geese on ice. Floating shards and trapezoids of ice, inches of water sliding over ice in this shallow section of Ferril Lake, three to four feet here, nine at its deepest. Standing on inches of melt, the geese walk on water, on their own sharply rippled reflections. So many geese, hundreds, maybe thousands, gray and black and white blanketing the lake. Pigeons are considered pests. Once thrilling and migratory, now due to human interference geese have joined those ranks.

On a short bridge

In a corner of the park, wild grasses grow. I stand on a short wooden bridge, so it must be true that water once ran below it. Fallen leaves pad water’s path. Some of us come into life on a mission, some of us eventually stumble on a direction and some of us stay stuck at the start. And some of us reveal our mettle by how we handle death hovering at the door. Not yet. Not yet.

City Park, Denver

The mountains move further away in the afternoon, turn powder blue, as hazy and pine-framed as Japanese prints of the floating world.

Kite in tree

Caught in the top of a tall tree, last spring’s kite has been exposed by bared branches. It hangs there as a remnant of fair-weather fun, a reminder of the swiftness of life’s passage, an emblem of loss. My eyes fill, but winter sun warms my shoulders. My heart aches, but sadness lifts like the breeze-billowed edges of the kite.



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12 Responses to A Walk in the Park

  1. Sylvia Montero says:


  2. Beautiful, Pat. And poignant, in the true sense of the word. I can offer one word of cheer there are geese that do still migrate, even if most flocks along the Front Range only fly from lake to lake. Beneath the central flyway in Nebraska I’ve driven for half an hour through Canada geese spiraling until land, as they come down from the true North. From my heart to yours, dear friend.

    • dubrava says:

      Kathleen,, I knew about the Canadas that remain migratory. I worry about these that fill our lakes all winter. What’s to be done? Thanks for the heart to heart!

  3. Bob Jaeger says:

    Beautiful and touching, Pat. Think I’ll go for a walk.

  4. Renee Ruderman says:

    Thank you, Pat. I had need of your words today.

  5. Jenny-Lynn says:

    The geese, who are pests, walk on water. The predator, sedate, doesn’t budge. These photos and words really took my breath away, Pat. Thank you for your writing!

  6. deb says:

    So lovely and poetic….solitary winter walks in the park will do that.

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