It was called Swiss Cottage and the only way to get to it was to cross a bridge and climb some narrow steep steps. But it wasn’t the cottage we were interested in. It was the tree on the other side of the bridge. We had packed a picnic and it was a beautiful summers day. The sun was high and its rays were bringing out all the shades of the summer greens. The trees were full of life, the birds were skipping from the bridge into the calmer part of the river to cool themselves.
The tree stood alone at the end of the bridge as if a post to the start of Swiss Cottage. There wasn’t another tree in sight on that side of the bank and it was there we were going to have our picnic.
She lay out the blanket and took the food out of the hamper as we settled under the shade of the tree. I couldn’t stop looking at the bridge.
How long had it been there? How many people had crossed it? Had anything sinister happened?
The arch of the bridge was so elegant, like the neck of a well-bred horse. It was strong structure with immaculately placed bricks, the roar of the water running under her made her sound deep and powerful, as if she were harnessing an ocean, echoing the chants of the seas.
I lay there after we had eaten, unable to stop stroking her hair and listening to the sound of the water. I could feel her heart beating on my chest and I could see her hands gently draped across my body. I wondered what it would look like in a picture from the bridge and I imagined that it would make a wonderful picture.
All I could see was the bridge and I didn’t want to cross it again to go home. I was happy here.