My feet are already cold inside my felt-lined boots as I step into the canoe. I was hoping this outdoor adventure would cheer me up but right now I'm freezing. "Nice day," my husband says. He is impervious to weather, a virtue which I cannot emulate or forgive.
We've chosen a stretch of the Boardman River above Beitner Bridge and the current is moving right along. I don't really need to paddle but I'm trying to warm up. Except for the evergreens, the trees are bare-except for the willows which weep their yellow leaves into the water. We glide by elegant mansions and falling-down shacks and foot bridges that make us duck low, then lower.
Even with all the settlement, there are long stretches of wilderness and I can almost imagine the Boardman River before it acquired that name. At the public access, we stop for coffee from the thermos and oatmeal cookies. A slant of gold ignites the pebbly bottom and mallards squawk up into the shining air.
"Nature doesn't care if I'm sad," I say. My husband-science major, math minor-says, "Maybe nature does care."
I know he's wrong and also, thankfully, know that I do not know.