One of the good things about winter is branches bare as bones.
Oh, I know: in mid-winter, when the pale sky presses down until it hovers barely an inch above your head, when the wind blows savagely off the Hudson like it’s hungry to tear your face off, when everyone you pass on the street has the pinched and pasty look of Dubliners in the 1970s before the Irish imported fresh fruit and vegetables, on days like those, a bit of spring foliage might warm the cockles and lift the spirits.
But the thing about leaves is, all that lush vibrant beauty masks and obscures wondrous things. Like the river.
From May to October, you can barely see the Hudson through the leaves, unless you head right down to its banks. A glimpse here and there, sure, but not enough of a vista to appreciate the essential river-ness of the river, the way it moves and the power of its currents flowing north or south with the ocean tides.
On calm, clear days, the smooth surface is a broad skein of blue silk. On windy days, it’s a chopped and pitted sheet of metal that Thor pounded with his hammer in a fit of rage. And however it appears, the sight of the river tells me there’s always a way out. Just follow the river to somewhere, anywhere, not here.
By February, I’ll be craving buds and green leaves, but right now, in the middle of this snowy winter, I’m just loving me some river views.