Beginnings and the Course

Beginnings are important. I like to think about how a thing began and often to sort a thing out by going back to its inception and earlier times to gain understanding.

This applies to people and many things including a stream of water; both as an allegory and in reality.

The beginnings lay a foundation for what is to come and often sheds some light on where it will end, but there is no question that what is picked up along the way continually redefines direction along with what is and what will be.

A river may start its course as a natural cool spring bubbling ever so easily from the depths of a source only the Maker can fully delve–earth cool, pristine and full of promise. It might start as a collection of mountain or hill country rain water gathering fresh from the heavens. It could have been a little of both. Something from the earth as well as something from the heavens.

As the stream finds its way along a path defined by gravity and contour, it picks up color and taste along the way. It borrows minerals from the bones of the earth and nutrients of soil composed of things once alive and cycled. The quality and quantity of those define how friendly to life it will be and what we’d find down the course of its life.

A section devoid of close foliage and slowed to smooth and wide may warm by the sun and for a while be host to its own vegetation and the abundant insect life it attracts; only to reach a down the hill stretch, rocks and a fresh infusion of cold spring water once again. Trout will congregate there to escape the rising temps and to enjoy well aerated flows and the bugs and nutrients flowing down from the flats above.

I can’t help but think of an infusion of cold spring water as analogous to meeting new friends and spending time with old. Of much needed minerals and nutrients like a fresh insight that can make our course understandable and perhaps more pleasant. Or maybe a change of contour and direction as perspective to see a thing anew. A bubbling and happy riffle and plunge pools over freed stones as spending happy time doing the things we love…

One thing is certain of a stream of water; and that is that it will not flow up hill but under the most extraordinary circumstances and that not for long. Such is our course–it flows only down and on and though it may seem uphill at times, its only perspective. Life flows easily and naturally on to a determined place, but colored and characterized by what happens along its way.

It seems to me that wading a stream with fly rod in hand or walking the woodlands and fields with a chosen companion is as conducive to contemplate such things as any other past time.

Some folks smell roses. That works, too.


~ by John McGranaghan on May 23, 2010.

2 Responses to “Beginnings and the Course”

  1. Dear James,

    I truly enjoyed reading your post, philosophical and full of wisdom, a nice diversion from my work online and soothing to the mind.
    I haven’t checked whereabouts you live, but the pictures are a treat to mine eyes! Though I consider myself to be a ‘dog-person’, my wife is not so a stray cat wondered in our life and has been our companion ever since. When the time comes to retire or move on to the next ‘pond’, I will surely welcome a canine friend, till then, I guess I’ll keep track of your posts here 😉



  2. Thank you for your kind words, Olivier and I trust that one day you will have that dog and I suspect you will value his unique friendship. I live in New Hampshire, USA and these pictures are taken here.
    Once again I thank you for stopping by and joining in.

    Cats aren’t so bad and if it pleases the wife, then all the better.

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