It seems to clear my head a little, and I notice it anchoring me more firmly to a sense of place. I’ve gotten to know its rhythm, its song, the different ways light plays on the ripples depending on the time of day.
I love to watch the dips and draws of its current. I love the way its rhythm changes depending on how recently it has rained. And the constancy of its rush clears the cobwebs and complaining voices out of my head.
I feel like the river is imprinting itself on me, helping connect me to my sense of place in the world.
In the past, it’s been the ocean and the horizon that has been my anchor. Growing up by the ocean, the smells and rhythms of the tides ground me, bring me back to center and connect me to place. The ocean taught me about ebbs and flows and cycles and the unseen. And about the unforgiving aspects of being alive.
When I was living in the desert southwest and I couldn’t have the ocean, it was the horizon that called me back to myself, that helped me sense my place as part of something larger. It was the horizon that helped me to learn spaciousness, to hold room for everything.
I wonder what the river is here to teach me. About journeying, allowing, coming up against, letting go, inevitability. I love the constancy of the river’s song. Never tiring, always present, always changing.
The beautiful poem by Mary Oliver, At The River Clarion, pops to mind. Her experience and thoughts like driftwood along the river. Deep and flowing, the simpleness of being, layered over the interconnectedness of all things, the mystery that some people call God.
Perhaps, down the road (or along the bank) the river will offer me a poem. For now, I hear Mary’s words,
Said the river: I am part of holiness...
Said the river: imagine everything you can imagine, then keep on going.