The river occupies a between space moving calmly along its blue-green channel. An occasional sand bar forms in the lazy current. This Rio Grande divides two lands, two languages, two ways of seeing and believing. Its meandering liquid line separates the sandy far bank from the stout grasses of the near bank. Traces of past lives trail barren imprints on the far side, while on the near side the turf grasps a millennia of soil in a rooted grip that shelters a riot of present life. Between these worlds lies the secrets of the universe. The living, the dead, and the watery sustenance of the Rio Grande follow a winding course to distant seas. ♨
In the coolness of dawn, before the heat melts night’s calm, the superlative colors of sky break across morning as the marshes embrace another day.
Gazing into the blue-green depths through this watery portal to the underworld, we don’t see the fiery hell of our imagination, but instead only reflections of our own worlds. Our demons do not dwell in the boiling, stinking waters that ooze from the earth’s bowels. They dance instead in the forests and meadows that surround us. ♨
On a winter visit to the Fernhill Wetlands in Forest Grove, Oregon, ice covered the lake, thick enough to support a crowd of Canada geese. The breeze did not allow a leisurely contemplation of the scene; the morning blew hard through me and left me empty of thought or feeling or desire. I moved quickly through the landscape, leaning like the cattails bent by wind. ♨
The Hoh Rain Forest waits as a patient guide, a moss-embroidered forest of wisdom, lined with ferns and storied over with trees older than memory.
The moon had my soul as I stepped through the gate into the schoolyard. I listened hard for the sweaty shouts of teammates running ghost-like on the lined fields of memory. Echoes of their gameful cries disperse to memory. My gaze fixes now on an orange line of thin clouds lingering across the pale sky of coming day. ♨