River

I can feel the depth and width of the water below me and I can hear the dome of the sky beyond the frame of the trees and stones on the shore. Birds sing and rustle the branches of trees when they land. A car goes by on the nearby highway, the tires hits the bots-dots in a deep rumble-slap. Inside the theater of the pool, everything on the river moves as if on a silent conveyor belt. There is the big movement of the river flowing downstream but the surface is a black mirror with down and twigs and bits of leaves on the surface.

Sometimes the movement is so delicate, dust will collect and spin in infinitesimal swirls just above the glass surface. Below that, the soul of the river is complex, filled with water plants, fish, crawdads, mulch. The bottom is made up of black and purple rock and flashes of sand and gravel. Streamers of bright green algae ripple in the current below the current. There is no feeling of movement, yet a white marble boulder hustles by as if alive and running upstream. In the invisible, a rock will push up water from the bottom, and swirls, small and subtle, will bloom on the surface of the black mirror.

The river will send you away, carry you off. Not only can you never step into the same river twice, you are not stepping into the same river you were looking at 2 seconds ago when you raised your foot. Here, the water is calm, ahead, there is a rapid. I can smell the fishy wet odor of the mist that reaches me before the sound of the pounding water beats in my chest.

 

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