Sunday, May 19, 2013

Free Stone

One spring after heavy rains had come and gone, my father and I walked the banks of the Sawkill Creek.  It was newly scrubbed by floodwaters that had gouged its banks, sweeping away trees, glacial deposit boulders, and even a few buildings as the Catskills shed the rainfall and shot it down to the Hudson.

The memory of that short walk remains one of the strongest from my childhood.  The river had cut new banks, and had changed its own course.  We walked along the round gravel banks and gazed up at the undercut roots of massive oaks and pines.  We saw the bones of the earth laid bare by the river's irresistible blade.  The river had cut itself a new bed.  Everything in its path was destroyed; everything in its path was made new.

Polished by the river.

Since then I have walked hundreds of miles along - and often in - deep, clear waters over cobbled riverbeds.  The sound of the water is the music of my soul, high sprinkled notes of splashing water and bass tones of massive stones rocking back and forth in the current.  Walking in freestone streams makes me forget my worries, forget time itself.