The sand is worn and cool beneath our feet, it’s inky darkness speaks of river-wearing power. The merciless might of water, bearing down around a particular corner for long enough, for days and years and centuries and decades, can wear down even rocks.
And that is why we’re here, after all. Because we too are worn down by the endless monotony of getting up each day and off to school and work and round and round in the circles of lovely community. Our souls feel still and cramped, hunched down like old men with too many worries on their shoulders. We have forgotten to breath and our very cells call out to our tired minds, for oxygen.
It is in the mountains, full of the pure still air, filtered by so many tall conifers, that we look up, and take that first deep breath in. Our molecular structures remember then, the power of fresh wind sucked into our decomposing places, into the parts of our spirits that have begun to atrophy with disuse.
Something in us wakes.
Two of our children scream, loud and hard, making the fly fisher, across from us on the mighty Trinity, rue the moment he started towards this particular little patch of the great river. But these two children are merely marking the experience we are all sharing. Lungs, really expanding to capacity for the first time in months.
We build together. An alter to the gods and goddesses of all that is wild and good and free. We reconnect with Creator through our art, our eyes, our hands on sharp rocks and ice cold water. The little home I make, for sea sprites, remains unfinished; it’s mossy floor too messy for their intricate ways. But my faith tells me that perhaps some small inhabitant or other human weary sojourner will come and find this little home, perfect it, and notice it’s simple beauty.
We carry home our treasures as we head towards warmth and food, full of the cleansed feeling that follows cold in our face and wind in our lungs. We bring with us purple rocks whose colors defy true description and the roundest pebbles you have ever seen. We share with the world pictures of our windblown children beaming ecstatically, together. Our bodies travel home, unhunched from the past months, while our spirits, full to the brim of beauty and wild and wisdom, hunker down happily under new weights of inspiration. We remember ourselves. We remember beauty. We remember, finally, to breathe.