Checking Out the Home Water

I have not been working on my blog obligations and I have been feeling like I am letting down whom ever may be reading it, which is not a productive endeavor.  Today was overcast and chilly here in Geyserville, but the day before yesterday was a true gift.

A Place Where I Learn

In the morning I decided to drive out to what I have been thinking as of my “home water.”  It is a spot on the Russian River where I fish, explore, take photographs, write about, and sooth my spirit and soul.  I is for me a place of healing.  It is a place where I learn.

Lately I have been caught up in “projects.”  Two shows to put on in as many weeks; I needed to write a Lenten Meditation book, with Cherie and our daughter, Shannon; I am trying to learn new material for my Sacramento band, Fear the Avocado; do a little commercial photography; and watch the Olympics.

Wild Raddish

Willow Catkins

So, the day before yesterday I decided to head down to my “spot” on the river.  It was everything an experience in nature should be.  Less than a month from the Vernal Equinox I saw wild flowers in bloom, radish, willow catkins, new leaves amidst the still-dull-browns and grays of winter.

There were grasses growing with that eye-piercing green I term, winter green, the yellow green that comes up under the lifeless, gray stems that are the leftovers of summer.  These grasses were coming up in the fresh silt that caught in the gravel beds scrubbed clean from the flooding.  Hawks hung mid-wing-stroke, vultures, prowled the thermals,

Canada Geese

Canada geese, flew low formations below tree-lines, and I walked with my camera—just seeing.


An Olfactory Manifestation

And breathing.  There is a smell unique to a riparian zone that is like no other on the planet.
Fecund, moist, sexy, the commingling of water, sand, mud, leaf-rot, decaying flesh and plant matter, that makes for a holy and living sacrament—an olfactory manifestation of the deeply inner working of the divine being’s tactile presence on the inside of my nostrils.

I was checking out the ravages of the winter storms—both on the river and on my soul.  How hard were we hit by winter?  How much damage did we endure?  What changes were made by winter’s onslaught?

Scrubbed Clean

I saw reconfigurations to the geo-forms of the river’s bank.  Great areas of gravel-bar scrubbed clean.  I sensed I had experienced some of the same in terms those things that govern the nature of my flow to my final destination.  While the river had some minute differences in the course and depth of its channel, I have some small differences in my ways of perceiving my journey, and my reconfigurations are no less profound as the movement of a pebble in the river’s rapids.

The Banks of the Current

The day before yesterday I saw that the river was still muddy, but clearing, no longer rising, but that it would again before the long nights of winter give way to the long days of summer, and the storms would cease.  I saw that it was very good to live within the banks of the currents and cycles of my life.



  1. Hilary, your words speak to my soul. I, too, feel weather beaten, tossed in the current of life, scrubbed clean and deliciously alive from the winter. Your images are as beautiful as ever and leave me longing for the river…time to find my ‘spot’ for regeneration. In gratitude and great love ~ H

  2. I do love the river. It is a place of connection and restoration. I love the images, like you say, scrubbed clean. Later in the spring and summer the people will leave their mark on the sandbars, I love it now, pure. You catch it! Like a dream-catcher!

    This has been a winter, and I am grateful for it, in fact, look forward to more rain… it enlivens me, as well as the landscape. This has been maybe the first winter, ever, that I have enjoyed the inward journey. Emerging with the spring is going to be really fun!

    Thanks for taking us with you on your wanderings…


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