Rivers and Streams of Consciousness

Rivers and Streams of Consciousness

Standing beside the rushing water I think of the white sands along the Gulf Coast, knowing they came from here in the Appalachian Mountains. The cold, clear water leaps and pushes down, down, down from its source. I attach a thought of love for sea turtles to the water molecules as they tumble toward the Gulf and know that someday those water molecules will reach sea turtles and deliver the thought. And then I ponder the connection we all have with each other, with Source. There is only separation when we imagine it to be so and even then we exist in Oneness whether we believe it or not. Whether we are even aware or not.

Before moving back to the mountains several people questioned me because they know of my love of water. Are you sure you want to leave the waters of the Gulf Coast? I trusted the calling of my heart and find myself surrounded by clear, clean mountain rivers and streams and creeks on a daily basis. There is more contact with water now than I have ever had in my life.

The Tuckaseegee River winds around daily life and is the central river upon which each day flows. It begins in Jackson County above Cullowhee and flows northwesterly into Swain County where it joins the Oconaluftee River before heading through the center of Bryson City. It then enters Fontana Lake then the Little Tennessee River which flows into the Ohio River and finally the Mississippi River…and then the Gulf of Mexico.

The facility where I work is on the bank of the Oconaluftee River. During my breaks I walk along the sidewalk in Cherokee and connect with this beautiful river. It begins as several small creeks join near Newfound Gap and this stream flows south along the base of Mount Kephart. It converges with Kephart Prong, Kanati Fork and Smith Branch to form the Oconaluftee River. It flows south cutting a valley and strengthens when Bradley Fork at Smokemont adds to its flow. It continues its flow along the national park boundary and flows through Cherokee and finally joins the Tuckaseegee River.

These two rivers bring such beauty and joy to daily life. As I drive to Sylva or Bryson City or Cherokee, the Tuckaseegee is constantly flowing and offering magnificent scenery to gaze upon and connect with and the Oconoluftee, a smaller river, provides a fresh recharge during the day or a wonderful place where my dog Buddy and I walk between Cherokee and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Every day I am surrounded by these two beautiful rivers.

And even the mountain on which I live has a small branch that trickles along the gravel road. Buddy and I have been exploring a bit and find it especially lovely and delightful.

It’s quite odd to realize I am connected to water more in the mountains than I was at the coast. Every day the brilliant, clear energy of moving water crosses my path, surrounds me. And I am reminded that all water is connected and connects us all. What happens where I live now impacts where I lived on the Gulf Coast as the Oconoluftee and Tuckaseegee Rivers carry the happenings here to the beaches where sea turtles lay eggs, where dolphins feed and even where humpback whales give birth and mate in the Atlantic waters near the Dominican Republic.

I feel the connection of water through us all, through all landscapes…through all life. It is life-giving, vital to survival.

It reminds us of the Oneness of life, that all life is connected. What happens here in the Smoky Mountains affects everyone and everything downstream. The same goes for thoughts we think, behaviors and actions we instigate. What we do impacts everything and everyone. Drop a pebble into still water and the ripples eventually effect the entire body of water. So it goes with thoughts and consciousness.

One of my favorite quotes is by John O’Donohue: I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.

Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: