Baby Bean is Growing

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday Afternoon

I've discovered I love to go down to the Platte River Park on my lunch break and sit within view — or at least within sound — of the rushing river water. Sometimes I drive, sometimes I walk, depending on how much time I have to spare. Today, the water is running high and fast with whitewater eddies swirling in the brown water. The grass and trees of the green space are the resplendent verdant emerald of spring, contrasting with the bright blue sky cheerfully dotted with Magrite clouds and the warm red brick of the walkways, bridges, and nearby buildings. I have found a partially shaded bench mere feet from the rushing tumult of the intersection between Cherry Creek and the Platte, next to a flowering shrub I cannot identify.

I am not alone.

On a sister bench just on the other side of the shrub, an older gentleman in a black business suit sits eating a sandwich from its celophane package. A younger man in a classic white polo and chinos that scream "middle management" sits on a step to my left, munching on an apple and a sandwich on white bread from his brown paper sack as he pours over what can only be a TPS report. In front of me, a woman old enough to be my grandmother is sprawled comfortably on the steps next to her bicycle reading a magazine.

We all look up as a red-winged blackbird calls loudly, swooping over our heads to land on a concrete pillar, partially submerged in the rain-swollen Platte.

Across the river, on a velvet-smooth patch of grass, two young women are sunbathing on a blue picnic blanket. A man stands knee deep in the water, trying to coax his timid dog to join him. I watch it scamper close to the edge, then back away, close to the edge, then back away in a comical dance between nature and nurture.

My business-suited companion has long gone. Mister Middle Management peels an orange and stares out across the water, probably at the sunbathers, as my cyclist dons her shoes and gloves before peddaling away. I check my clock and wish it were not almost time for me to do the same. I envy the dogs and humans, cyclists and kayakers, frisbee players and sunbathers, all of whom have somehow managed to have this gorgous Thursday afternoon off.

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