River in the afternoon

One of my great pleasures in life is the afternoon, after work, spontaneous paddle up the river. The river is a cool, verdant tunnel of green on a warm late afternoon. These days, the river is a great depth with a strong flow. But paddling upstream nonetheless presents no real problem. Then when I turn to come down I go with the flow. If I paddle as strong as upstream, I can feel the wind in my hair as I fly downstream (although the wind is coming at face from the South).

The late afternoon sun and the cool breeze in the yellow-green trees provides a natural escape from the day's hectic pace. I get great satsifaction from slipping my paddle in the cool water to propel forward my human-powered craft. And when I'm on the river, I feel miles away from the cornfields of Central Illinois.

Right now, a huge Silver Maple fell across the river about a mile upstream on a 90 degree bend. The river is diverting around a little island and cutting off the corner. In the dry season, that cut dries up completely, but I wonder if the river will eventually re-channel itself. Probably. I paddled around the downed tree and it is so huge and so solid I wonder how it will ever move. But as sure as Summer follows Spring, it will. The Sangamon is ever changing.

I spent some time recovering trash and trying to break up some logs that collected in the river just below my bluff. It has captured millions of Silver Maple 'helicopters', which I tried to break up with my paddle and sent on their way downstream. Someday, they'll become lodged on the bank, sprout and grow to full size, then they too will eventually fall across the river, creating another backup.

On the Sangamon, as everywhere, life travels in cycles. If you wait long enough it all comes around again. Just like life. Just like a river.



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