Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Rivers, creeks, brooks, rills. I love the sound of these words, the sweet and magical way they roll off the tongue; the music they make when spoken aloud. In them I hear the essence of life, bubbly and light, cool, refreshing, purling over riffles, quiet in pools and eddies, soft and sibilant against sandy bars. Bold words with power to stir feelings, invoke moods. I often whisper them as a prayer and feel better. They are reaffirming words, offering beginning and end, source and destination, purpose and hope. Rivers, creeks, brooks, rills. Moving waters free from birth, possessed of eternal restlessness, they are shaped by their passage, gaining strength as they travel, continuing to seek what lies beyond, unwilling to give up the journey. What could they teach us about being true and steadfast if only we would listen? Sometimes I say their names —Stillwater, Scioto, Miami— and ache with loneliness afterwards, because they are not mere places, but flow through my soul, and it has been too long between visits.