(Words over pictures)
I arose in an alpine forest where the snow melted and flooded into one artery passing forests of lodgepole pine, cutting through canyons and running down into the plains and valleys below of oak, chaparral, coastal sage scrub, the increasingly rare riparian forest and marshes. I. ALONE. I support up hundreds of bird, mammal, reptile, amphibian, and fish species. My impact to nurture life is exponential.
But I have taken as much life as I have given. Over millions of years, fed by infrequent but reliably intense storms, I have broken the barriers that bind me, wreaking havoc and destruction as I carry sediment from the mountains and deposit it on the shore, slowly forming a coastal plain of fine sand along the Pacific Ocean. I am temperamental, I admit it. I don’t care if that bothers you, impresses you or scares you.
I am simply a river. Ancient. La Llorana.
I have things to teach my daughters. Most importantly, to be very careful of what they send downstream… how important it is to think about what they do and the impact that is has. How they live their lives, the grudges they hold, the loves they hold dear and what they choose to let go. It all has a ripple effect of generations to come and how we remember our primordial creation/creator.
We pass down genes of dark almond shaped eyes, thick luxuriant cascades of black hair, full deep rose lips, a generous bosom and supple olive skin. It is equally true that we pass down memories along these same ley lines. My daughters carry my memories exactly as they carry my genes.. they live in them.. and expand and morph within them, adding to and dancing with the individual essence of their unique being. Ever changing my ever-evolving self.
I exist even when I cannot be seen. You could learn something from me, if only you paid attention…
The River Beneath the River