Sunday, January 02, 2011


Philadelphia, January 2011. A city of crowded expressways (not freeways), downtown skyscrapers lit with holiday lights, Boathouse Row twinkles by the Museum, its columns all golden at night. Drivers don’t hesitate at stop signs or narrow streets. The city is a constant stream of people, cell phones pressed to their ears, lights, motion, the jazz drummer on the corner playing frenetically, no gloves despite snow pushed to the side. Out in the neighborhoods, along City Line, Manyunk, Roxboro, Society Hill, Chestnut Hill, stone houses, themselves lit with color, are softened by snow everywhere, and dusk is just falling.

Past the reservoir next to City Line and Belmont, we stop to watch Canada geese. A group of eight or ten birds circle and lift and splash down, their cries reassurance they have found a rest stop on their journey south. They call the next group down just for the night, and they call to each other and splash and settle down. A third group flies low in the dusky night, their cries fill the night, and they circle and come down onto the water. An occasional bird cry, and all is still. Even the city seems still.

Fiona Robyn and Kaspa started a river of stones, a blog that asks participants to commit to write daily through January, some small reflection from the day. Since we are on the road for the next while, I thought it would be fun to post these "stones" to mark our journey.

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