I pick up rocks along Tinker's Creek and throw them upriver. I try to get them past a large rock in the rapids, "the goal." I make one goal. Appropriately, it is with the smallest rock.
I trace in my throw the shape of my brother paused in a photograph. He is a boy throwing a rock into a lake, his hand at the top of its arch. "Look how perfect," my mother said to me as we looked at the photo. The form, the balance of his body. I try that now at 35.
I pick up handful after handful of rocks. Appropriately, I am wearing a skirt. With each bend, I moon the steep wall of rock that is the river's opposite shore. I throw the small rocks at the big rock. I am getting better, but still some slip from my hand straight into the river. The wall lets loose some of itself, more gravel for the riverbed.
I switch to skipping rocks. The sun is low. The big rocks make big splashes, make rainbows in the air.
I sing Taps---
Day is done
Gone the sun
From the lakes
From the hills
From the sky
All is well
God is nigh
---but the river carries on at the same rate, at the same volume. Had a human this fervor, she would be sick. But the river, it is at rest. This is it at its point of rest.