The rocks by the shore were shining brighter than usual. As the horizon continued to brighten, so did its reflections that bounced off of those icy rocks, spreading across the length of my face. These scattered fragments of light kept me from becoming acquainted with hypothermia, despite drowning myself in many layers of sweaters and jackets.

I usually wouldn’t go anywhere near the water on a cold morning like today, but I could not help but think about that persistent clock on my bedroom wall, working itself through minutes, days, and eventually months. It’s silly really – supplying batteries for a tool that does nothing but remind you of how much time is passing by.

Nonetheless, I took my time. I sat alone and watched as the crescent-shaped sliver made room for the orange sun to rise. The water was completely still, blending in with my quiet breathing.

It wasn’t until a duck landed in front of me that I was able to break away from the painting staring back at me. I told it about my jealousy. That while my toes were wrapped up and still freezing, it was naked, bathing in the river. That with a few back-and-forth motions, it could take flight and dive into the sunrise that I so desperately yearned to touch.

Balance was a friend of mine in the early hours, jumping over open slots along the pier where decaying wooden planks spent their final days. They’ve managed seasons of ice and have expanded under the sun of the warmer months, living through hurricanes and years of feet walking along their backs. All of this to provide us with a better view?

I would like to think that we are the same. That even after years of bearing the forces of life, we can still provide others with beautiful scenery filled with new perspectives. It is in return that these worn-down, missing boards begin to be repaired.

I eventually whispered a goodbye, walking away after watching my warm breath dance in the morning light.

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