He is standing, quite still. It's not a river, really, just a muddy trickle, a silted creek that's probably more sewage than alluvium. The bridge is just a few feet above the water. It shall submerge if the rains are good this year, and then we will have to cross by boat.
The air is buzzing with insects. No, wait, they aren't insects at all. They are words, each in a different colour, each with a matching pair of wings. The ins and the withs dart merrily about, maneuver expertly around the ponderous bulk of 'maneuver', bump into 'merrily' without noticeable damage, and continue along their way, heading towards the source of the water, perhaps unaware that it is many miles away. 'It' and 'is', meanwhile, race each other, thrilled by their own velocity. 'Maneuver' and the equally ungainly 'ponderous' move slowly but noisily, like articulate bumblebees. 'Ungainly', despite his name, is a most nimble fellow, and navigates slickly through the aerial crowd, the tail of the 'y' acting as rudder.
He must capture these words, and string them together, and make them behave, but they seem to delight in eluding him; they remain just out of reach, the bulkier ones maintaining their height, the quicker ones (notably 'it' and 'is') occasionally taunting him by flying within reach, then flitting away. But capture them he must, even if it takes a lifetime of patience, for that is his destiny.