Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Cricket in Lakeside Park

I heard a sound tonight that I haven't heard in quite some time. My crew team recently moved from its rat-cave boathouse on Lakeside Drive to temporary housing at the Sailboat House, over in the park by Children's Fairyland. We were just docking after our workout, and I heard crickets in the trees! I didn't know we had crickets in Oakland. It's too chilly here, too foggy, too noisy, too everything. But there they were, like it's summer and I'm eight years old.

Crew these days is as close to perfect as it gets. We're in that precious window between the summer windy season and the long, dark night of the soul called "October through April"--the water is flat and silver, the sun is just setting, the clouds are pink, and the birds scatter in front of us as we row. Our coach has decided that we should enter some long-distance races later in the fall, which means lots of 5-k pieces for us. We row for half an hour without stopping, and it's just us out on the water with the rush of the boat through the water, the thunk of the oars squaring and feathering, and the guys on the shore playing the bongos in the stillness of the twilight. After awhile, we relax into the cadence of the boat, and everyone gets a little bit better balanced, a little swingier, a little stretchier in all the right places. It's good, and it makes me feel placid and pliant afterwards. I'll need to remember these evenings when it's January and forty degrees out, and I'd rather stay on the couch with a book. Because winter will be here soon enough; I guarantee it.


Anonymous said...

If I could write this well my poems would be the songs of my life. Thanks so much for sharing yours.
Al's Dad

Liz said...

Hi, Al's Dad (whose name I know, but won't say for the sake of anonymity)! Welcome! I'm glad to hear from you. :)

You should totally start a poetry blog. I'd read.

Heather D said...

That is a beautiful description. You totally make *me* want to row, and I know I'd hate it! Good job!

Liz said...

Wow, that is an accomplishment! Thanks! Hee.