The river is flowing again. Fast. Free. Fluid. Spring melt ripens slowly.
The water level rises, centimetre by centimetre. Day by day. Where yesterday, the log-jammed up against one of the buttresses beneath the bridge was fully exposed, this morning, only ridges are available. Soon, as the snowmelt begins in earnest in the Rockies to the west, the water will submerge it and wash it away downstream.
For now, morning brings higher water levels. By dusk, the water will have receded a few centimeters. The cycle will continue day after day as I watch, sometimes with trepidation, its ever-increasing flow, wondering, how high will the waters come?
It is the gift and the angst of living on the Bow.
Years ago, along with 99 Calgarians chosen for Peter von Tiesenhausen’s Passage’s exhibition celebrating the Bow River, I released a small wooden boat (slightly bigger than my hand), carved with a number and message on its side, and set it adrift into the rushing waters of the River. Each of the 100 boats contained information for whoever found it on how to share the story of the boat’s discovery online.
I do not know where my boat was found, or if it was. I know many were. Many weren’t.
Perhaps, like the log stuck against the abutment, my boat landed in the weeds upstream from where it was launched and became buried in the silt of spring flooding.
Perhaps, it became waterlogged and lies at the bottom of the river in some distant tributary.
Or perhaps, it floated and drifted, following the current all the way to Lake Winnipeg into the Nelson River and onward to the Hudson’s Bay.
I like to imagine it did. I like to imagine it sailed out of the Bay into the Arctic Ocean to become frozen in time under the Tundra of the far north.
Perhaps still, the patches of ice that stubbornly cling to the gravel bar further upstream will melt and somewhere on their journey, a current will find my boat, still and silent, waiting for its release in a marshland far to the east.
The river, like time, does not flow backward. My boat, like memory, fades.
The sun struggles to reach the ice clinging to the shore.
Somedays, I struggle against the flow, just as some days I struggle to release the angst of these past two years.
Somedays, I release myself to the flow, allowing worry and angst, fear and sorrow to abate into the River’s constant flow.
Ebbing and flowing. Flowing and Ebbing. Life moves on as time passes.
No matter if I struggle or release, the river is in constant motion, life abounds all around and I am carried by the flow.
Whether I struggle or release, Love is always flowing.
It is my choice to struggle or to breathe into its constant flow trusting that no matter where I go, or where I become stuck or end my journey Love will always carry me through.
This is a video of the boat launch — if you look closely you’ll see me passing by the camera… 🙂