Pondering a Riffle on a Winter Hike Along the Suwannanoa River

The Power of Riffles, Suwannanoa River.jpg

To Ponder a Riffle


To ponder a riffle is to be in the moment.

As water breaks over stones and quickens its pace,

stasis is obliterated and I reconnect with the source of life.

Where this stream flowed before entering this turgid bend,

replete with snags and downed logs, becomes a distant

memory.  Dead wood will decompose and bring new life.

Dams will burst  when floodwaters are high and ice will melt.

The flow cannot be stopped or frozen in time.

As molecules leap and jump, oxygen, another of life’s

essential ingredients, is added making the water richer.

Waves form and as they crash and churn,

layers of my identity are stirred up.

The alchemy of my awakening begins.

For each barrier breached, the waters of my soul

are pushed back by subsequent boulders  

or shorelines of unreachable destinations.

At times, the weight of water folding back on itself

pushes all that is caught in its wake down

to seemingly terrifying depths, though this is an illusion.

Instead we humans often find ourselves thrashing about

just below the superficial surface of confusion.

Riffles provide shelter for fish and insects to feed and develop;

When I dive deeper into my own being, I too will regenerate,

despite remaining until death in this tantalizing eddy.

Through water I find the freedom to dwell in uncertainty

and celebrate this journey through the unknowable.