“It’s an amazing sight, that’s all I’ve got to say, a sight for sore eyes, yes sir it is. It's an amazing sight.”

“What’s an amazing sight?” I asked the old lady. I didn’t know who she was, she was just sitting there on that fallen log, holding an old bamboo cane fishing pole. I was working my way up the small river, trying out several spots, hoping to catch some small mouth bass or maybe some catfish. I didn’t notice the old lady until I was nearly upon her.

Her skin was dark, nearly black. She wore a long loose fitting dress, one of those old fashioned kind that women wore fifty years ago. The kind of dress you see in old photographs of your mother, or your grandmother. The kind of dress that makes even a young woman look old.

“This ol’ river, that’s what’s an amazing sight,” she said as she took off her well worn leather shoes and placed them beside the log she was sitting on.

I wondered how many times she had sat on that log holding that bamboo pole, she looked so comfortable and at ease there, she looked at home. “Have you caught anything yet?” I asked her.

“I love watching this ol’ river flow,” she said. “I’ve been watching it for a long time and I never get tired of watching it”

“Well Ma'am, I’m going to walk up the river a little bit farther, try my luck up there, good luck to you, I hope you catch some nice ones.” I said to the old lady.

I took a few steps when I heard her shout “I got one, it feels like a big one.” She jumped up from her seat, with both hands on the cane pole, and pulled in a catfish. “Yoweee!” she exclaimed. “I bet this fish must weigh over five pounds.”

“Yes Ma’am, I bet it does,” I assured her, even though I figured it probably weighed no more than three pounds.

She took the wiggling catfish off of the hook, held it up so we both could toke a good look at it, and then threw it back into the river.

“I’ve got a freezer full of those ol’ catfish, I don’t keep any of them anymore. I just catch them and throw them back. I come here just to watch the river flow.” She pointed up the river and then down the river as she said those words. “I love this old river,it's an amazing sight, I love the rocks, and the trees, and I even love this old log I’m sitting on.”

“I can understand that, yes I can.” I said. "I surely can."

The old lady continued talking, “I always wonder how many times this same water has flowed down this ol' river. If this river has been here a million years then I bet some of this same water has flowed down here many times. Maybe this same water has seen every bend and every stone in this river a hundred times. Maybe those ol’ catfish look up at me from the bottom of the river and wonder why I sit here so often. Yes sir, I’ve probably come down to this river a thousand times, those ol' catfish probably know me. They probably wonder where I am on the days that I don't show up, maybe this ol' river wonders too.”

 I looked at her in wonder as she slipped her shoes back on, stood up and said she had better be getting back home. “I just live up there, on the other side of that hill,” she said. "I've lived in that old house a long time, a real long time."

I watched her as she headed toward the hill, she walked about ten yards then turned around and looked up and down the river again. “I always take one last look before I leave,” she told me, “because one of these days will be the last time that I ever see it, and I don’t know which time that will be, it's an amazing sight.” I did not know what to say to that. “Now you have a nice day sir, good-bye, I've enjoyed talking to you.”

As soon as she disappeared over the top of the hill I sat down on her log, and I watched the river flow. It was a good seat, quite comfortable, with a wide view of the river. I could see a long way upstream, and a long way downstream. 

I didn’t want to get up, I wanted to watch the river flow. “It’s an amazing sight,” I said to myself, “that’s all I’ve got to say, an amazing sight.”