Magazine article Sunset

Feel the River Run

Magazine article Sunset

Feel the River Run

Article excerpt

I live by a river in eastern Washington. My desk is 50 feet from its bank, and as I write, my eyes keep moving past my words to the ever-changing current of this river, a constant reminder to be patient with the process of writing.

Summers I immerse myself in its lazy, green flow, swim to the undeveloped shoreline on the other side. As I float on my back beneath a cottonwood tree, I grasp a low branch. A sky of wide, shiny leaves blocks the blue above. The river guides my legs, points my feet downstream while I hold on to the branch, breathing the cool watersmell of the cottonwood leaves, letting stories gather themselves within me.

Long after the water has turned too cold for swimming, I sit on the dock and kick silver swirls with my feet. A twig drifts past me. Yellow leaves. Two blue herons hoist themselves into the air-awkward, as if inventing flight. It's like that with writing. Doing it for the first time. Always. And again. The risk. The passion.

I slip into my kayak, push myself away from the dock. …

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