This week I was hiking along a North Shore river. The river was swollen by spring run-off. Thundering tons of unstoppable water were constantly crashing over steep falls, boiling in the fall-bottoms, and barreling through the narrow canyons. Giant bubbles grew and burst, white rafts of foam swirled in the backwaters. The air was moist and cool, clean and sharp. Ancient cedars shaded the river’s path. Twisted roots and spongy moss grew in tiny gardens along the rocky walls. There was so much to see and hear and sense. So much to feel.
I was with a friend, and we took many opportunities to just stand quietly and soak it in. We let the river’s energy pulse through our bodies, nurturing us. We remarked about the mutable nature of water, how it can simultaneously be a droplet and a wave and a river. How the clear water rushing by us was new all the time, yet the river itself was a constant. We came to the mouth of the river, where the water slowed and flattened, running into Lake Superior. The river joined all that water, all the way out to the horizon. That same water evaporates up into the clouds and comes down again as rain. We drink that water, and it runs in our veins like it runs in the river bed.
We went home that day enthralled and very refreshed. It helped me remember a poster I used to have in my office when I was a Community Health Nurse. The poster was a picture of a rainbow that was made out of beautiful fruits and vegetables. It was encouraging a diet rich in vivd color and fresh vitamins. The poster said “Eat A Rainbow Every Day”. When my friend and I were at the river, I felt like I was eating rainbows, real rainbows. And it made me realize that I want to eat rainbows every day.