I have been sitting near rivers lately. The Rogue, tumbling and hurried and gathering itself to burst forward in gasping sprints. The Umpqua, slowed by the deep horseshoe bend in front of the cabin, a spoon lazily stirring cream in a cup. Ospreys and eagles and those improbably enormous buzzards flying overhead. Everywhere a riotous cacophony of green.

All three of my boys like to be active in the water, tossing time-flattened skipping stones or casting fishing lines or easing into that first full-body immersion. I’m happiest in a chair with a book in my lap, as content and still as a lizard on a hot rock. I can feel the weight of the sun on my skin, I feel dopey with the heady pleasure of it. I imagine, somewhere inside me, a charging battery that will get me through the dark winter months.

At some point I put down my book and tip my head back. Breathe in, all that buzzing warmth filling my chest. I can hear laughter and splashes, see flashes of striped swim trunks and the glint off my husband’s sunglasses. Mom! someone cries happily. I smile and wave and I look at the water and I cannot imagine how it all works. How it came to be that this particular ripple, this one right here, has traveled its great unknown journey to splash against this riverbank where I’m sitting with my family. Everything that has led to this exact moment. Every tiny thing that could have changed the trajectory, every unpredictable destination ahead. And on and on it goes, never stopping. The water is forever, and I’m left believing in something like luck, or if not that, believing in my own gratitude. A breeze sighs through the valley, every leaf dances then stills. Everything around me speaks of the uselessness of focusing on the past or future. There is only this, and my god, my god, it is so glorious.

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marilyn
7 years ago

<3

Jakki
Jakki
7 years ago

I love when you write with humor, I love when you do picture montages… But oh how I adore reading your words that make me thankful to be alive (and a little bit teary to boot). Thank you so much for this, it was a fantastic reminder to stop and breath.

Penne
7 years ago

Perfect.

Anne L.
Anne L.
7 years ago

Moving

CA Plough
CA Plough
7 years ago

Sounds like my version of heaven. I’m glad for you. You deserve it.

jody
7 years ago

Love it! You are so good at painting a picture with words. I’m probably picturing it nothing like it really is, but I feel like I could be sitting there beside you with a book in my hands. :) Speaking of which, I just noticed the books in your sidebar (I usually read you through feedly), and I loved those, too! If that means we have similar taste in books (not sure), you might want to read “Me Before You” and “The Language of Flowers” if you haven’t already. Read both of those in the last year and loved them. (Both are kind of heavy at times, but lovely and amazing and I cannot let go of the characters!)

Angella
7 years ago

Love. This, and you guys. xo

sooboo
7 years ago

This gave me chills. So nice to read. It’s inspiring to me that you can be in the moment and enjoy your life.

Melinda
Melinda
7 years ago

This is fantastic. Thank you.

Lucy
Lucy
7 years ago

How true! Beautifully written.

Robin
7 years ago

I do the exact same thing… Marvel at the string of moments that had culminated in these rocks, tumbled; these children, sparking, laughing. Rivers are good for that, rendering time and grace without preaching. The abundance is palpable.

Thank you for sharing this moment so beautifully.

Jean
Jean
7 years ago

Spectacular/moving/thought-provoking….your writing and the way it makes me feel….well done…

June
7 years ago

You sound so happy… I am happy for you!

Hillary
7 years ago

That was just lovely.

Maggie
Maggie
7 years ago

Beautiful.

Jillian
Jillian
7 years ago

Please write things I can pay you to read! Short stories, novels, whatever.

Mariya
Mariya
7 years ago

Gorgeous. Wow, can you write!

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Amy
Amy
7 years ago

I’m with Jillian! You should be Writing with a capital W.

Telegirl
Telegirl
7 years ago

Beautifully stated. I have also been looking around at what is in my life and feeling the same sort of awe. How is it possible that my life (while not perfect, mind you) has ended up to be so amazingly terrific? I am thankful every day for everything I have been granted, for every moment…

Kathryn
Kathryn
7 years ago

The power of nature is real. Thanks so much for capturing this perfectly.

H
H
7 years ago

Absolutely lovely.

Mary Clare
Mary Clare
7 years ago

What a picture you painted! Enjoy.

Staci
Staci
7 years ago

Simply beautiful.

Michelle
Michelle
7 years ago

Just lovely. <3

Amy
Amy
7 years ago

Thanks for this. Beautiful in every way.

Kelli
Kelli
7 years ago

This is one of the most beautiful things you have ever written. Thank you.

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ASL
ASL
7 years ago

I’ve been thinking about this ever since I read it last week. It’s just…perfect. I love how–if we’re quiet and let her–Mother Nature will offer us the perspective we need to appreciate the everyday, ordinary joys in our lives. It’s enough, you know? These moments are enough to fill a heart and life.

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Erin
7 years ago

Gorgeous writing. Those moments of gratitude help me through the always suffocating string of long parenting days. Like coming up for air. And seeing clearly why it’s beautiful.

leslie
leslie
7 years ago

Stunning. Poetry.

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