Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Salt Blessings

Who knew this river's mouth had such rough teeth?

The Cascade peaks declare themselves dangerous: sharp-edged ivory fangs against the sky. They throw shadows of fear a hundred miles long. Every winter when they claim their sacrifice of skiers and mountaineers, we shake our heads, sad but not surprised.

But who thought mud and water could be so hard?

Two hundred-plus ships have been ground between these jaws and swallowed by this throat. Here, where salt meets fresh and up meets downstream, where land is only ever a bystander. Here, where jet-stream storms torn from the womb of the Pacific kick and shriek, like every newborn, at their first taste of land.

And they say they will dredge this river, roust dozens of drowned souls from the silt and send them blowing landward like banners of brine a hundred miles long.

You may find one in your front yard, tangled in a tree like a drowning man clutching a broken mast. Don't mistake it for an unrecycled grocery bag or a half-deflated Mylar valentine. Climb up, untangle it and toss it in the air. Let it fly fearless into the arms of mountains. The drops of salt it leaves behind are blessings.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

1 comment:

ninotaziz said...

The sea and the river meet, and your words are thunderous.