Sunday, November 1, 2015

For the Love of a River

Pine Creek Canyon     Wellsboro, PA

Water represents emotion in my tradition.  Moving water - flowing emotions.  Stuck water - stuck emotions.
Dark water - things are not so clear.  Clear water - yeah, you get my drift.

I was born on a river.  Our cottage, the Lazy Lodge, literally hung over the river pictured above and I could hear it day and night.

My grandfather taught me how to fish, swim and live off the river.  He dried mullein stalks and we later soaked them in kerosene and lit them like torches and walked along the railroad tracks at night.  Very primal.

Our place was right below the one rapid - Owassee rapids.  We learned about the bounty of the river as we saved those who had overturned in the rapids and gathered coolers, six-packs and river booty as it floated by our cottage.

My grandfather also taught me about the strength of the river and death.  He took me by the hand and walked me the half mile or so along the tracks so that I could see a woman who had died while navigating the river.  I remember her almost blue body underneath a rock.

Later in life, I chose to follow a friend and work on the Snake River in Wyoming.  I became an official whitewater guide.

Here is a pic, I am in the back and my crew has just hit the hole that they call the Big Kahuna.  We didn't get enough speed to get through the rapid without "hitting" it hard.  You get used to that as a guide.  You can encourage (a gentle word for not yell so hard) to paddle and then you just have to let go and ride it out.

The "Big Kahnua", Snake River, Wyoming USA

Now I am back on the river.  This time the Multnomah Channel of the Willamette River near Portland, OR.  My husband and I are renovating a floating home from the river up.  I wake each day to the river flowing right by my front door.  Cormorants, Bald and Golden Eagle, Great Blue Heron and Osprey are my constant companions.

Once I guided on the river, now the river guides me.  

Floating Home on Multnomah Channel
Wish you were here.

No comments:

Post a Comment