The river really is never the same, whether I step into it or not. And I know more than one way to step into a river.
It has moods, as different as each day. Up and down with the weather, as are we all. Sounds match those moods. There are days when those sounds tune me in more than my own heartbeat.
It is a five rhythms river.
Today, in the sunshine between the blizzards, it was silent. Me too. Basking, the pair of us, in this calm before the next storm. Its surface thick and smooth as a pirate's flagon, with thumbprint dents. No waves, no ripples, only grand basins of water. In the flow. Nothing choppy, no staccato. All of it soothed and schmoozed by the molten light dripping down from the sun. No lapping sound, but a whisper, like sliding silk. It was in the flow. Entirely. So fluid it was solid. Peelable.
There is a rock. I slide down to it, on the grass, today on the snow, to stand, as if on the river itself, and we ride the chi.
The river and me.
My rock is on the cusp of a bend. I see the whole of the river, the centre of it flowing towards me. I become the river, and the river becomes me. Some days we are in chaos, some lyrical, some still - like the day the icebergs Vienna-waltzed downstream, huge rough-cut sugar lumps, swooshing like taffeta. I could smell the kafe mit tortes.
CrÃ¨me brulee crack as the ice sheets broke from the riverbank, floating off to the sea. The thawing river was a cocktail, clinking 'Cheers'. Fine weather on the way.
Of all the lakes, waterfalls, rivers, lochs and streams, on bridges, under bridges, feet wet, feet dry, on rock, earth, sand, stone, ice and snow. This is my favourite spot.
To ride the chi.
The hail started and the river changed its tune. Chop chop. Time to move. Me too. Hail stinging my face and the river surface like a lion tamer's whip. We both dance to the tune of the North wind. Staccato. No flow in it. It is a ruthless dictator. Schnell.
Mathematics is afoot, even in chaos, waves must obey their natural order, or they cease to be waves. Even a hurricane has a shape, a form, a mass, a density, a footprint. No purer proof of mathematics, than chaos.
Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, twice the size of Earth's moon, has weather systems just like Earth. Photographically, the clouds rain over the mountains, which give birth to streams, which make rivers and there is at least one known lake. The chemistry is alien, liquid methane, mountains of ice, but mathematics is afoot. The base pendulum of the Universe. The flow. Waves of liquid methane, must still behave like waves. Or they are not waves, but something else. Waves on Titan. Waves on the Dee. Wind blows. Rain falls. Mathematics is purer than chemistry.