My college campus spanned the Mississippi River, and I walked across the river on a 70’ high bridge daily in 2016 to attend class. Below campus was the East River Flats, a forested city park, that I would visit almost weekly. The flats were always a place of discovery.
My favorite time to visit was the winter. Ice covered the edges of the river, and slush filled the middle of the river, drifting slowly downstream. When the ice froze along the shore, it made beautiful geometric patterns – hexagons, bubbles, and striations. These made satisfying crunches went I walked on them, and usually I could hear the ice moaning and cracking below the surface. In places, I could see how waves had pushed the ice into layers and pockets, and along the edge of the river, droplets of water froze repeatedly onto low branches, forming icicles. Every time I visited the flats, I would notice something new and become excited to return.