The Tunnel

The footpath to the river starts with a pedestrian bridge over the Northbound side of the parkway, takes a wide and steep arc to a tunnel beneath the Southbound. Every time I pass through this tunnel, I get the feeling it is nothing short of miraculous. In an instant, the traffic seems distant, even as I come out on the other side and cars are passing just a few feet over my shoulder. Everything I can see is suddenly serene and bucolic. There is still the rumble of the G Washington Bridge, but it is not unlike that of the ocean, and it makes the river seem bigger, makes New Jersey across the way seem like a distant continent somehow still visible despite the breadth of the ocean.

With uncertain footing, I climb down a short embankment to the edge of the rocks. I try to sit next to a duck, but it flies away, makes me remember that I am not stealth like a Ninja, the way I sometimes think I am. The duck also reminds me that I am not small. It is actually the red lighthouse a few yards away that is small.

But soon there is nothing in my thoughts except the moving water and the still rocks, makes me feel like I’ve re-arrived at some primary stage of development, unable to conjure any words. How many times, how many ways have moving water and still rocks been described by writers? This must be one of the most basic things there is. I soak it in. I hope that it somehow renews and recharges me. I could sit here for hours not thinking anything.


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