THE RIVER RUNS THROUGH. Behind businesses, over the dam by the aged mill, under bridges…
In Northfield, the Cannon River always draws me. There’s something about water. About the power of a river, the mesmerizing movement, the rise and fall thereof, the sense of peace which flows through me when I view water. Or watch fire. Or hear wind.
On a recent Sunday, Randy and I headed toward the Riverwalk in the heart of historic downtown Northfield. We passed, and paused, at Bridge Square, the community’s gathering place. Every town should have a spot like this for folks to meet, to center causes, to converse or to simply sit.
We stopped to watch the Cannon spill over the Ames Mill Dam next to the 1865 Malt-O-Meal (now Post Consumer Brands) mill that still produces hot cereal, the scent often wafting over the city.
I delighted in a blossoming tree and the spring-themed art painted on the front window of the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism office. Seemingly small things like this add an artsy vibe to Northfield. Details matter. Art matters. Nature matters.
When we reached the riverside back of the Contented Cow, I noticed for the first time the Holstein painted retaining walls and tables. Why had I not previously seen this? It appears to have been here for awhile.
I find backs of buildings bare bones interesting, like nouns without adjectives.
That’s the thing about slowing down. Noticing. Sometimes we fail to walk at a pace that allows us to see, truly see, the world around us. The backs of buildings. The flow of the river. To take it all in, starry-eyed at the beauty which surrounds us.
© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Thanks for highlighting our beautiful river town. It’s a nice, and beautiful, place to live.
You are welcome. I love your community of Northfield.
I was recently in Northfield for a funeral, I did get a few glimpses of the river and downtown, but I really need to take more time there to explore. So many beautiful old houses.
Oh, Jackie, my sympathies to you.
Yes, you would love spending more time in Northfield. A beautiful historic community with plenty of photo ops for you.