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October 24, 1986

Summer Solstice on the West Branch

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Pennsylvania Philadelphia First Place

JAMA. 1986;256(16):2250. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380160108032

Small as a day in a year, this trickle has come out of the glacial rocks to make a pool no wider than two spread hands. The sphagnum makes a forest at its edge. The water is cool, dark with shade and tannin; it will stay at least beyond this evening when the sun, holding as much, as much of day as it ever can, lets go to run down its own declivity, as this water will run through blanched roots to the river with equally little choice in the matter. What the hill above will give, or the streams below will take from this pool tomorrow is today beyond our actual knowing. What is here today is what we know: a seep of ancient water just now flowing into this pool, the flecks of larvae swimming, the jay in the tree nervously racing from limb to limb, the spider