The River

This completes the series of posts I’m calling The River (The Old Man, The Ranger, The First Timer, and now this post). I guess the mountains, and one particular area, are calling to me again. And I’ll answer that call as soon as I can. In the meantime, I hope you have enjoyed these posts.

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It’s easier to sleep, to just let things be.  There’s too much going on otherwise.  Waterfalls that can make me feel disjointed.  Rapids that can make me angry for reasons I don’t fully understand.  The wide, windy stretches that try to lull me to sleep even when I want to be awake.  The narrows.  The pools.  The high lakes, cold from the snow melt feeding them.  The low lakes, warm from the valley sun.  it’s all just too much to feel at once.   So, it’s easier to sleep.

But, moments can rouse me from my long slumbers. 

There is nothing quite so majestic as a sow and her new cubs crossing in the spring.  The sow alert and protective, instructive and caring.  The cubs hesitant at first and then playful, knowing they are safe under the watchful eyes of their mother.  I never tire of moments like that.  Even after all my years.  I hope I never do tire of them.

Before moments like those, I’m usually awakened by the beginning of the spring thaw, when my waters begin to run deeper and faster and carry the yearly haul of fallen trees down, down, down.  Some winters are worse than others.  But, there is always some sort of log jam.  The forest around parts of me is very old and the winters are full of harsh snows and strong winds.  The trees fall.  They find their way to my banks.  And as I run stronger, they get lifted and carried as far as I can take them.  I enjoy these moments less than the bear moments. 

It can’t all be happy, though, can it?  Life isn’t about that.

Who am I to know about life, you ask?  Why, I’m the river.  The river.  The river.

I know more about it than most.  I’ve been here a long time and I’ll be here still for a long time.  It’s true, I sleep most of the time.  You would too if you measured time as I do.  But, I’ve been awake enough to watch, to learn. 

The old-timer visiting my banks is like me.  He’s been around long enough to have learned a thing or two.  He feels familiar, too, like some of my peaceful stretches that change less from year to year.  He’s likely visited me before many times. 

There are others like him, visitors like the sow and her cubs, whom I seem to recognize each summer when they return.  There are so many who return.  I call to them  The River.  The River.  The River.

The old-timer seems at peace.  His steps are measured and calm.  That’s good.  I’m a lot of things, and dangerous is part of my nature.  Calm is required around me.  One slip is all it would take.  It has happened before.  Even when sleeping I know when it does happen.

I move along and leave the old-timer to his business.  He knows what he’s doing.  Not that I could do anything to help even if he needed it.  As I said, I am a lot of things, and it is not in my nature to step in provide assistance.  There are miles and miles for me to travel, to watch, to observe, to remember, to carve, to dive, to stretch, to wash, to be the river. 

The river. 

The river. 

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