Early morning, long before the sun slips up from the east, I stand on the deck and look across the Cottage Pool toward the island. The river wears a gauzy veil—a mist thin and silvery, translucent as it diffracts the light amid slow swirls which sometimes merge with the movement of the river’s warm currents, loosely cojoining the two elements, water and sky, though always their borders remain ambiguous, unclear. There’s an innocence to such mornings that I adore, a Garden-of-Eden illusion that is both mysterious and comforting. I can sense the newness of creation. Forget, if only briefly, all the ugliness and turmoil, grief, sickness, and trouble of the world. What I see before me is it, all there is, everything…and the mood is filled with gentle peace and quiet joy. A great blue heron fishes in the shallows at the upstream tip of the island, alert to my presence the moment I stepped into view. I wonder if he’s caught anything for breakfast. Yesterday’s on-off showers have freshed and roiled the stream so that it is neither muddy nor clear, but rather a nebulous shade that’s more a dull olive…still fishable if I were of such a mind today. The only sounds I can detect are the slow whispers of current against the rocks, and from somewhere behind, a titmouse calling its usual peter, peter, peter. The turkey vultures which roost on the island are invisible in their treetops; they likely won’t reappear for another hour—depending on the mist’s longevity. Even then, they’ll probably just reposition themselves to catch the burgeoning light, then sit around a while warming damp bones in the rising sun, waiting for that moment when whichever of them gets to decide such matters, finally launches from his perch, catches on outspread wings, flaps once or twice to begin a slow lifting into the morning. I have yard work to do today, things I’d hoped to get finished over the weekend but couldn’t manage because of the rain. So I need to fix my own breakfast and get started. But for just a few minutes longer I linger…savoring the diffused green light, the sweet cool breath of morning against my cheek, the magic of the moving river as it appears from some unseen, secret source, gains clarity as it glides sibilantly near my feet, then fades and disappears again into the unfathomable mist to continue its enviable journey.