Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.
From A River Runs Through It*, By Norman Maclean
I live where I live in Belize in the twin cities San Ignacio/Santa Elena, commonly known in Belize as “Cayo.”
Of all the places in the world I could live and the places I could reside in Belize, I live in Cayo partly because a beautiful, scenic, usually tranquil and lazy river–the Macal–runs through it.
I love the Macal even at times during the rainy season when it’s roaring and the water is muddy after torrential downpours that come and go sometimes for a week or more at a time. I especially love it this time of year, though, during “dry” season when it can appear pristine.
Just outside of Cayo the Macal River merges with the mighty Mopan River to form the Belize River which winds down the length of Belize into the Caribbean Sea.
I love rivers. As Norman Maclean said in his concise and oh-so-beautiful and one and only novel, “A river, though, has so many things to say that it is hard to know what it says to each of us.”
Rivers speak to me and I love rivers. They are tranquilizers with no dangerous side effects. In fact, they are like vitamins–they empower the mind, body, soul and spirit and keep them healthy.
I’ve been feeling so distressed by the news back home in the States lately–and a little stressed trying to get my book manuscript and the pictures that will illustrate The View From Down in Poordom ready for production–that I’ve neglected to get back to nature where I can breathe.
Today I did just that—took the time to walk four miles along the river with my binoculars to look at the birds and butterflies and magnificent greenery and water currents.
It was like getting a booster shot for the soul.
His greatness Norman Maclean wrote:
Many of us would probably be better fishermen if we did not spend so much time watching and waiting for the world to become perfect.
I’m not much of a fisherman and never have been, except in the sense of being “a fisher of men (and women) in the biblical sense.
But we’d probably be better people if we stopped waiting for the world to become perfect, amen?
* In his review of Maclean’s instant classic of a novel, Alfred Kazin wrote in the Chicago Tribune:
There are passages here of physical rapture in the presence of unsullied primitive America that are as beautiful as anything in Thoreau and Hemingway.”