On our drive back from a friend’s wedding in Austin, Kayla and I stopped at a place I know on the Guadalupe River. It is a beautiful spot. The brush opens at the bank to form a smooth sandy beach. Oak and pecan trees tower over the river casting dappled light and shadows on the water.
I only meant for us to stop and admire the scenery in our fancy clothes, but her satin dress was instantly on a branch, and she dove into the green water.
“What are you waiting for?” she said from the middle of the river. She laughed out loud from the cold water and her voice rang in the forest and she swam backward taunting me and splashing water.
I looked up and down the river. I was still wearing my suit jacket. “Come on!” she said, “no one will ever find out!”
I have never wished I could paint so much as that afternoon, to paint the gold of the sun on her skin, the different gold of her hair, the soft white outline of her arms, her shoulders, her face–her eyes a deeper green than the green flowing water.
“Come on, you big chicken!” she said. She started making bok bok bok chicken noises, and then went under the water and came back up swimming. The birds sang in the high in the branches of the trees.
She held herself in the middle of the river, waiting for me, her face glowing above the surface of the water, and I swam to her.