It was morning.
I inhaled a shallow breath of the cool damp air above me, and as I opened my eyes I witnessed a blurry miasma of fog hanging like curtains draping the trees above. The warm photons of the morning sun scattered through the mist cloaking the woods, as if to immerse the lush, wet viridian in a sea of amber.
After recalling my errand I rose to my feet, stretched my body and began moving towards my destination.
The woods of Amherst were deep, punctuated by boggy marshes, all fed by an intervening creek formed from glacial runoff. Stands of pine, spruce, larch, and maple grew think atop a soft layer of peat. As I walked on the fringes between the forest and fen, large and hearty black flies were released from their hidden stations and lazily spiraled above the surface of the water. The still wetland eventually led to it’s providing tributary, which I followed upstream to a creek.
The creek was almost as it’s analogs were in the future, weaving through what will constitute the campus. Only now it was some degrees more powerful, rushing like a torrent around former meandering curves, fed directly from the slow decay of a melting behemoth and unconstrained by the concrete geology of the anthropocene, which made the initial sight of my goal evermore incredible.
As I approached it, the morning sun absconded, leaving a brittle chill in the air, the curtains of mist becoming a choking web. The color fled the landscape and the water became still.