Tag: women and nature

Another Way Around

Another Way Around

This pool was calling me…

The large stack of logs looks the same as it did the last two times I stood here but that pool above it is calling me. Their position in the river, with large rocks, rushing water, and overhanging branches, makes it appear impossible to navigate. But the water is just 25 yards above this mess….and I really want to cast the fly I tied yesterday into that pool. But….can I do it?

I walk to the upstream side and the moss-covered rocks offer a steep approach. Nope. I walk back downstream and look again. Maybe I can wade around the logs, downstream, and navigate the swift water near the far bank. I stand here….comtemplating, studying….and then the thought comes: Get down on the level of the water and see what it looks like. Maybe the different perspective will help me decide.

From water-level, it looks so different, so doable.

Carefully, I make my way down the slippery bank, again grateful for my wading staff. Once I am downstream from the log jam and see the water on the far side, I realize that it’s definitely doable. 

The first cascading pool comes quickly and I cast a fly. BAM! Dance and release. I wade a bit further upstream and cast into a delicious pool from the lower pool. BAM and it tossed the fly. Then immediately another hit and connection as the rainbow dances over the ledge and into the pool where I’m standing. Carefully, the fly is removed and off she swims, with a beautiful, feisty attitude.

I wade on, stopping before the bottom of each beautiful pool. The dancing is fine. One especially clever rainbow dives under a limb caught under a rock. It’s a deep little pool but I can’t leave a fish on a fly and line, tangled under the limb. I ease into the butt-deep pool and reach under clear water and pull the limb up. The fish removed the fly and left the fly hooked on the limb. I laugh out loud and blow on the fly to dry it before I step up the rocky ledge to move upstream.

Beautiful pools as far as I can see offer more opportunities to dance but I’m in a good place to stop and bushwhack through woods to the trail. I walk up the trail another mile but mostly just to enjoy the morning, the green and reflect on the wisdom offered by Nature.

What if I hadn’t taken the time to really look at the apparent blocked way? What if I had given up without trying? How sad to contemplate missing all that beauty, interaction with trout, and the rocks and water that made me work hard to achieve the goal of visiting these amazing pools where cold water nurtures my master teachers as they swim with wild abandon.

When faced with obstacles in our lives, do we give up and turn around or do we take the time to explore and wonder? The choice is ours to search and find another way around.

Wading in Wonder

Wading in Wonder

This little creek was waiting for me…for months.

Heavy fog envelopes my home and everything near the Tuckaseegee River. But that river isn’t the one calling me in the gray, pre-dawn light. A small prong in the national park has been calling me for months now. Two days ago it was roaring with heavy rain that fell in a flash flood event so I couldn’t visit it. Today, I think it will be sweet.

I feed the critters and myself in record time and load the gear. Fog clears as I put the Tuckaseegee behind me and steer towards the national park. It’s too early for tourists so the small town I drive through is quiet The energy of the park feels still, with elk grazing serenely in the mountain meadow.

On I drive, passing beautiful pull-outs along the river. And finally, I arrive at a small parking area where I’ll begin my wade up. I check the water temperature…sixty degrees. Air is 58 degrees. I think I’m in heaven even though the first step into the rushing, clear water sends shocks up my body. But wet wading connects me more completely with water. No separation. 

I check the Gaia app and get my bearings as to where the little prong is located along the trail. And finally, I head up to meet this little body of water.

I bushwhack a bit, asking permission from the creepy crawlers and creatures of the place to allow me passage. As I step out of the dense foliage on to the moss-covered, rocky bank, I am immediately transported into a place of bliss within myself, in harmony with all life. I am embraced with welcoming beauty that brings spontaneous laughter from my depths. Soul laughter

In a creek this small, fly fishing is challenging; so is navigating rocks and rushing water and steep, rhododendron-covered banks. A first visit always brings a sharper edge of adventure and wonder. Part of the appeal is working the puzzle of wading upstream—navigating rocks, eddies, small rapids.

There’s a nice, quiet spot of water….I do a vertical cast and BAM! A rainbow dances with me for a few moments until I gently release it back into the rushing water. Such a mighty sister!

Up and up I wade, marveling with the mystery of this place; grateful it is protected protection.

Wading a small creek and working hard physically to navigate its structure brings me closer to it. It becomes a visceral opening–me to it, it to me. There is no conquering, only unity of movement. Respect.

Sparkling rainbow graces me again as I cast into another calm hole. Sweet teacher, spirit friend…thank you for helping me learn more about your home, my home. My soul-skin, now consciously expands to include all of this magnificence.

After a couple hours, I’ve greeted a couple more rainbows and am in a good place to hike back down the trail. As I wander back to the car, I feel the soft, green moss on gray boulders moving through me. Likewise, clear, clean water moves through me even as I sit here, hours later, reflecting on this life I am so grateful to inhabit. 

Great Spirit, light of creation that unites us all, thank you for life that expresses in such amazing beauty—flowing water, flashing fins, flowering shrubs, singing heart. Tears flow with love for all creation, as the creek flows onward from the heart of the mountain, to the river, to the sea.