Tuesday, September 1, 2020

On the Banks of the Hoh

Hoh River Bank, Olympic National Park
Forks, WA - Late Summer 2020

There is a place on the bank of the Hoh river where my bottom fits perfectly. The rocks offer a stone chair, nestled among the saplings shading me from wandering eyes. This small sanctuary of solitude is where I come to think, plan and process. The steady drum of mini rapids quiets my thoughts, allowing perspective to bubble up to the surface.

The wind offers a comfortable reprieve from the sun’s blazing kiss upon my shoulders. I watch as a blue heron soars overhead. I call to it, urging it to return so I can gaze upon it’s majestic wings once more. I get only a glimpse as it flies around the bank, searching for the slow approaching salmon. I hear they are already spawning the other Olympic rivers, but it will still be weeks before we see fish splashing up the Hoh.

I am thinking of fish when a splash startles me down stream. Has the bear returned again to the banks in search of salmon? No, only a human reaching into the cool, glacial stream. She rises with a squeal and shakes her hands. She notices me watching, “Sorry, I didn’t see you there.” I smile and wave as she turns and heads back up the bank towards the campsites.

I return my attention back to the river that offers such solace. Closing my eyes to avoid the glare of sunbeam reflecting off the water, I lean back in my cushion of stone. I let the constant flow of water take me to a place where time doesn’t matter and the world makes sense. In blissful peace, I rest and reconnect to the rhythm of nature.

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