by Tracie Nichols
In the spring, I wander the course of the stream that skirts the bottom of my yard. It’s one of hundreds – possibly thousands – of small, nameless, feeder streams striping the landscape here, meandering towards rivers that empty into the Atlantic Ocean.
It’s something I’ve been doing for over twenty years, now. As you can imagine, this stream and I have seen some life together. Over time, I’ve come to think of this wandering little waterway as family.
So this spring walk is when I discover where the stream is now, after the winds, snowmelt and hard rains of the winter months. By visiting before the riot of jewelweed and other creek bank plants overrun the terrain, I can see where banks have been undercut or collapsed. It’s easy to notice where the streambed has cut more deeply into the red sandstone bedrock, or where trees have fallen or held their ground.
This walk is also when I discover where I am, now and how my course has changed through winter. As I walk and notice the stream, I also notice myself. Where I’m feeling undercut, or rebuilt. Where I’m letting go and where I’m continuing to stand my ground.
Walking the length of this small stream is a moving meditation. An exercise in deep listening and deep presence, teaching me about cycles of death and rebirth in the land and in myself. Walking the length of this small stream offers me the gift of perspective, and anchors me in the reassuringly unending cycles of this land.
Tracie Nichols, M.A., IAC believes that if there ever was a time when the deep perspective of 50-ish+ sensitive, introverted womxn is needed, it’s now. She is a mentor, poet, aromatherapist and rebel crone creating spaces where sister Rebel Crones can find community, information and support to unfurl their voices, be who they choose to be and do what they choose to do. You can learn more about her at tracienichols.com.