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Canoeing on the Current River

Our riverbank launch at dawn where dense forest chills the breeze, where cottonwood leaves flutter like wings, and weeping willow penumbras tease. Glistening, rippling turquoise water churns. Crystal swirling pools symphonic and aglow, elliptic aluminum crafts coast over craggy stones, riverbed scattered rocks gleam clearly below. Current River splits between sandbar silt. Our paddles sink through rivulet tug. Meandering, twisting, converging again, water sculpting limestone, granite, or sludge. We drift into shallow magic ponds of quiet. The sweet fragrant water lilies subsume us. Along the bank, turtles cling to driftwood. The rowing in this reverie is not arduous. Another sunlit pool, a home for trout, their waving shapes dart under shimmering stream. Pausing our paddles, we heed distant water rush, how ready are we for river rapid extremes? Our canoes enter fast-breaking flows. Frantic, we navigate dead trees and rocks. The roller coaster of white waves propels past vague landscapes and distant crow squawks. One canoe capsized where river sharply bends. Lifejackets on, other canoeists to the rescue, all the cooler food, a gift to the river. Sleeping bags turned sponges; no one argued. The canoe water finally emptied; we resume. Each winding channel, a chapter in our allegory, musky, muddy scents and echoed whippoorwills entrancing. The bold beam of afternoon dims into dusk’s glory. We camp on a sandbar under night bouquets of stars, our trip has just begun: our quest must take us far.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2022

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Date: 11/24/2022 10:11:00 PM
This river excursion has the metaphorical punch of life's journey, a quest of discovery sometimes overturned in rough water, sometimes warmed by beams of light. The camaraderie of the river paddlers fuses nicely with the natural world that holds its awe. A grand read! Best wishes, Brian
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Thomas Wells
Date: 11/26/2022 12:58:00 AM
Thank you again for your thoughtful remarks, Brian! Float trips on the Current River in Missouri also hold a special place in my childhood memories. Be well, Thomas