Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Hunger

Contemplating the seasonal desire for the river’s water

When the sun rises you can sense it.  In a breath you can taste the rising humidity. The birds know it too, they sing their praise for the anticipated warmth.  As the fire rises in the sky, droplets of water emerge from icicle tips, liberated from their snowy grasp.  And so the current begins; the hunger grows.

It always seems to occur in the mid of winter. A singular day of thaw is enough to light the spark of desire, despite knowing Ullr still has many months of reign.  Memories begin to flood the day dreams. Suddenly I'm smelling like chlorine left over from pool imprisoned paddling sessions. I'm zombie faced and unconsciously paging through pictures, videos, websites, blogs to fill that intolerable void. When it gets real bad, I come fulfill the capitalistic ideal and begin pouring over the latest gear.  The obsession only worsens with further change in the tilt of the earth. Like the desire of your first love; that lovely and yet painful craving.

But often I have thought, at these times… why must I wait every year for the water. Why don’t I pack up and find a place where Tethys (the mother of waters) and her children are never captive by winter.  

But what then would fuel this hunger? From what source would the desire alight? Or would I prefer to pull-start my motivation every morning without it?

Contemplation breeds peace with the ongoing impatience. And this seems to describe universal seasonal emotion of paddlers far and wide; it is the beautiful hunger that brings us together. Communal bar-side tales of prior years ensue, smiles erupting, as nostalgia perpetuates. And we silently and contently wait for the many cycles of the moon to carry the sun to its rightful place and unlock the frozen waters.