The leaves wore the sun like a dress, elegant and fitting. Their crisp outlines were recreated by the water, or perhaps a painter, intricately melding the warm autumn palate together. I let my fingers drag like tiny props off the side of the boat and watched the designs that formed, with the colors and shapes of the trees rearranging and then coming back together again through the ripples. The water felt brisk, like the kind of water you crave after a long hike. I imagined the tree roots deep below filling with satisfaction and letting out gentle sighs of pleasure through the rustle in their leaves. As we continued moving, a lone leaf fell from time to time, and I watched it as it left home to depart on its new journey. Perhaps it was just like us, caught in a current, yet, with just enough weight to create its own. I looked back at the wake of the boat, what did it influence? Surely it has contributed to the path of that leaf. Other boats also passed, each on its own course, I imagined the bobbing to be mutual waving as each weaved its way through the water. Looking ahead I could imagine the movement of the boat, but it was never quite exactly how I thought, sometimes floating a bit more to the right, and sometimes to the left. And when I closed my eyes -even with the soft breeze that caressed my right cheek- I couldn't really tell where I was floating at all.
Eric James McDermott is from the USA and in the Neural and Behavioral Neuroscience Masters Program '16. He is currently a Masters student in Retinal Circuits and Optogenetics lab of Dr. Thomas Münch.