Water Inspires

Chad Harder from Bigskypress.com

That enchanting, provocative quality of water, that’s why we’re here, reading and blogging, isn’t it? Sometimes we’re too busy and forget.

This beautiful story from Montana just came up in our Twitter feed (yes, CFWE is now on Twitter– please follow us!). It may not be about Colorado’s rivers but it could be. Those quiet moments of contemplation you get on the water are something we all love, and something you’ll find on Colorado’s rivers as sure as you’ll find them in Montana. Here are a couple short excerpts pieced together, but the whole piece is refreshing, take a look:

Water transforms the world. To enter the water, even right in the middle of town, is to enter another universe. The river takes the solid world we walk around in every day and shape-shifts it into another reality, a fluid reality of change and flow….

Flowing water is time itself unfolding. There is no other place where it’s possible to experience so vividly how time moves into the future as on a river. It is not the inexorable march of seconds, each the same as the next, or the hands of a watch ticking away. On a river, time moves because the world flows, now accelerating and then slowing, eddying and swirling to push and tumble ahead, never the same but always downward and onward.

The slush islands crack and snap as my paddle cuts into them, shattering the frozen surface. Ice forms on the paddle and boat, layer after layer as the frigid air touches each splash of water. The lights on the river trail and the buildings downtown cast faint shadows, highlighting the ragged edges of the slush piles. The river is a dark ribbon sliding between the ice shelves, black through white.

A different river and a different season, but that inspiration and wonder is reminiscent of the reflections Nicole Seltzer, CFWE’s executive director, wrote when she returned from her first 3-week float down the Grand Canyon a couple years ago. Find some of Nicole’s thoughts below, or read the whole piece in the archived Fall 2011 edition of Ripple Effects:

I had never thrown myself into the wilderness for such an extended period, and I was nervous about the rigors. I should never have worried—I didn’t once wish I was anywhere other than where I was. I love rafting because it forces you to be in the moment and focus on what is in front of you. It doesn’t end well to plan for the next rapid when you’re in the middle of one!  My work life is so dependent upon planning and forecasting that I often let the here and now slip by without much notice. It is a luxury to spend three weeks paring your existence down to the essentials and focusing only on life and friendship. The rhythm of the river slipping through immense canyons reset my mind and reorganized my priorities. Upon returning, I told a friend that I felt a little like a mental patient plopped down in the midst of a too-fast world.  I had slowed down so much that keeping up just didn’t matter.

Don’t you have a similar beautiful story? Please share it! We all like to feel inspired.

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