Friday, December 29, 2023

Friday Ramble - Last of the Year

It seems right to begin the last ramble of the calendar year with sunlight shining through a fog over the Clyde river on a December morning. The river is a sister and a kindred spirit, meandering through woodlands, valleys and farm fields in the eastern Ontario highlands, crafting deeper channels wherever she pleases and loving every turn along the way. A veritable crone among waterways, the river mutters, grumbles and occasionally roars as she makes her way south to merge with the Mississippi river in Bathurst township. She is not much wider than a creek in places, but she is a wild thing, and she has serious attitude, from her beginning place in Clyde Lake to her journey's end.

Alas, it has been unseasonably warm here in recent days, and December's lovely snowfall has melted. There is little or no white stuff left on the banks of the Clyde, but thanks to a whole hat full of rain, she is running high and free, archipelagos of tiny icebergs bobbing merrily along in the icy current, around the bend and out of sight.

In springtime, I watched as willows on the far shore leafed out and turned silvery green, then a few weeks later as the river overflowed her banks and asserted her claim to the fertile fields on both sides. In summer, I counted bales of hay and captured images of deer and wild turkeys feeding at dusk. In autumn, the sun went down over the same willows, so golden of leaf and limb that they seemed to be spun out of sunlight or stars. In the now, ice glosses every branch, and the light shining through them dazzles my eyes.

In winter, I find a sheltered perch on the bank and listen to the river as she sings under the ice. Sometimes, she performs a duet with the wind, and there's a kind of Zen counterpoint at work, two unbridled entities utterly independent in their contours and rhythm, but meticulously interwoven and seamless in their harmonies.

Putting all notions of complex orchestration and conventional choreography aside, there's lovely music in the air on winter days. The sound of moving water has always been a leitmotif for me, and I often think my existence can be measured in rivers, currents and wandering streams rather than cocktails, jewelry, pairs of shoes and coffee spoons. 

This is where I come to collect my thoughts when big life stuff happens, and it is a fine place to hang out for a while, happy, sad, feeling broken, or stressed out and vibrating with agitation. The river welcomes me with open arms whenever I turn up. She listens to my story, and she gentles my restless mind. She knits me back together again, or at least to some semblance of wholeness. In the wise words of a friend, "She knows the way". I wish I could convey how much I love this little corner of the great wide world, but a mediocre image or two and a few clumsy words will have to do.

Thank you for coming along with me on Friday rambles this year. May there be abundance and healing ahead for all of us. May there be happy rambles in the shiny new year that is waiting for us around the bend.


Barbara Rogers said...


Gill said...


Mystic Meandering said...

And thank YOU for continuing to post your lovely posts all year! I have enjoyed your rambles in the brambled woods and in the meandering waterways that sing! ❤️