Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday Ramble - Last of the Year

It seems appropriate to end this calendar year in sunshine, a single beam of pale winter sunlight falling across the Clyde river in the Lanark highlands. Ice and snow are slow in forming at this bend, for the river is an old one, and her currents run fast and free. She is a wild goddess, a veritable crone among rivers, and she is not the slightest bit intimidated by winter weather and subzero temperatures - she will resist freezing over for as long as she is able to draw breath and taunt the season with her impetuous winding ways.

On the coldest day of the year, I can stand here and listen as the river sings her way along under the ice, and she often seems to be singing a duet with the wind. There's a kind of Zen counterpoint between the two wild voices, two unbridled entities utterly independent in their contours and rhythm, but meticulously interwoven and seamless in their soaring harmonies. Putting all notions of complex orchestration and liquid choreography aside, there's lovely music in the air on these icy winter days.

The sound of moving water has always been a leitmotif for me, and I often think that life can be measured in rivers and currents rather than cocktails, jewelry, pairs of shoes and coffee spoons. The thought of my dear little river in the highlands singing her way along under the ice is always a joy and a comfort, and it seems right to be in this place on the last day of the year.

In springtime, I have sat here and watched as the river overflowed her banks and published her claim to the fertile fields on both sides. In early summer, I have counted bales of hay, photographed deer and wild turkeys feeding along the shoreline, watched the sun go down over the trees. Once I sat here and cried my eyes out after learning that one of the people I love best in this whole world had passed beyond the fields we know, and again a few days later when my darling Cassie traveled across the Rainbow Bridge. One autumn not so long ago, I parked myself here for hours and tried to collect my thoughts when an imperative medical treatment stopped working. True to form, I was not really worried about expiring (I knew I would be back in some form or other), but I felt as if I was going round the bend from the stress of it all and was sure I would pass away as mad as a hatter. The river worked her magic, and I am still here of course, but it could be reasonably argued that I remain more than a little peculiar.

Happy New Year, and thank you for sharing the journey with me this year. May there be joy and health and abundance in your life this coming year. May all good things come to you!

9 comments:

Bon said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful images, poetry thoughts, and wonderful ramblings. I look forward to coming here everyday for inspiration, enlightenment, and feelings of joy that a person like you is on this planet. I hope 2011 will be as grand!
~Bonnie~

One Woman's Journey said...

Cate, what a wonderful place you call home. Best of wishes and blessings sent forward to you.

LauraX said...

Happy New Year Dear ONE!!! May it flow with gentle joy like the river you love.

Angie said...

I get so lost in your words that I am RIGHT THERE...seeing, hearing, feeling...tis the most marvelous gift that you have in translating thoughts and feelings onto 'paper'. Wishing you all the beauty and wonder your soul needs and can hold for the coming year, my dear friend. (Thank you for your kind email re John O'Donohue---I would have loved to have known him in person---and his stay among us was all too brief. I had so much more to learn that I feel sure he could have taught me.) (You know, I just realized that I feel that way about you too---that I have so much more to learn from you *s*)

Tabor said...

Only peculiar people are the ones that intrigue and see truth. Thanks for the inspirational thoughts.

liliannattel said...

Happy New Year. I love your particular form of peculiarity, Cate. I'm so glad to hear about the river and how she brought you solace.

Shell said...

Happy New Year,Cate. I always enjoy your rambles.

Kentishmaid said...

Happy New Year. I visit here often and feast on your images and evocative words. Every blessing to you for this coming year. Whatever she holds in store for us all I hope I can be at one with the earth each day. I'm off to the beach now to hear the waves tell me their new stories.

marigold said...

The element of water right at the heart of it all...

Wishing you the happiest of years and wanderings to come!