Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The River's Edge

I’m staring at my toes through the crystal clear mountain water. I can hear the water. It’s not pounding like the falls or crashing like the waves. It’s not splashing as it does when interrupted by something foreign. It’s not gurgling as if too hot or crackling as if too cold. I reach for words to describe what I’m hearing, but they don’t come.

There’s a rhythm to the motion and sound of the river. A soothing, simple melody plays, as if for my ears only. And I breathe in. The air is clean. Pine scented, dry and hot. The sun beats down and warms my hair and shoulders while the icy water cools my feet. I don’t want to look up. I just want to memorize this moment. This moment. The moment where my pink, painted toes stare back at me from under the flowing water. They seem so trivial – a meaningless attempt at beauty. An attempt dwarfed – ridiculed – by the colorless, see-through water of a mountain river. I breathe out.

Lifting my eyes, I’m immediately transported by the dancing sunlight. Kissing the rippling water, each bright fleck of light hops, then skips then dances and twirls its way into my senses. Shades of blue, aqua and green race by. One color replaces the one before it and is then transformed by the one chasing after it. It’s so alive.

As I breathe in again, I wonder about my place in this world. And I immediately know that I’m the only wondering soul in this place. The water doesn’t ask. The rocks don’t question. The light isn’t troubled. This place, this moment….it just is. I feel myself wanting to belong, to melt into the wilderness. To fit. And I find myself wishing that my toes weren’t painted pink and that I could stay right here for a very long time. I exhale, and move my feet, kicking gently.

The water splashes around my feet, and I know that I will be better for having stopped here. I brought nothing. Nothing was asked of me. I leave nothing behind. Here I am not the giver or the doer or the caretaker. Sitting on the bank of this river, I am simply free - free to accept every good and precious gift that surrounds me.

This piece was written as part of a 
Bigger Picture Blogs Writing Circle
Click on the link to learn more about these wonderful groups!

And I'm linking up with others
sharing their simple moment
at Melissa's Place today


  1. This is just breath taking. I love the thought that our own attempts to create beauty pale in comparison to God's. So true, of course, but never so eloquently illustrated than in that cool coursing water.

    I need to figure out Writing Circles! Why am I missing out on this?!

  2. This post was so beautiful, truly. It is true that sometimes we always feel like we have to give/do something. I don't take enough time, ever, to just be.

  3. I really liked reading your post, you transported me to that river bank and had my feet in the water too!

  4. I just love the imagery! The pictures and words are perfectly complementary. I recently embarked on a journey to embrace the present and fully understand the most basic purpose of life - to just be. To be without asking, wondering, questioning, worrying. Just be. Thanks for taking me there with you!

  5. I love the sense of our transience I get from this piece. Really well done, Adrienne! It's a beautiful, engaging read.

  6. Nothing rejuvenates the soul more than just breathing and soaking in your surroundings. It's time to just BE.