I acquire bits of knowledge as if I were stringing beads. But there is no knot at the end. And the older beads slip off into my lap. From there I take them up and hold them to the light. And back on the string, they are new again.
The stream that leads to the falls at the north end of the park is running low, and much of its rocky bed is exposed. We step carefully almost out to the middle. There are already a few yellowed alder leaves in the water, hugging the mossy stones where the water gathers and pools before it decides to move on. Serrated edges; lovely veins; or are they beads? I add one to the string.
We meet a couple on the path. Without stopping, the man says, “Good morning.” The woman, who is just behind him, says, “You must be experts. You’re not carrying anything.” And looking back over my shoulder, I say, “There is nothing in our heads, either.” Her laughter, I imagine now, is still somewhere in the forest.