Salmon River Meditation
I want to share with you a meditation on the Salmon River. Whether you are a returning Canyons guest or looking forward to your first trip this season, the possibility that your trip will be delayed can feel disheartening. As a river guide, I feel the same way too.
This moment in time is an interesting one. A moment that is filled with trepidation, a mix of fear and hope and waiting. At this moment, there isn’t one of us who isn’t waiting to see what will happen next, to all of us, collectively. Many of us are spending much of our time at home just venturing out into our local territory for walks in the sunshine and distant waves to our neighbors. This is the perfect moment for taking a pause, for dreaming of our great escape if only in our mind’s eye. I offer the following meditation in the hopes that it will create within you a deep feeling of ease, relaxation, groundedness, and peace.
Find a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Rest. Breathe deeply.
Imagine yourself standing. Dappled sunlight sifting down through the tall pines above, warming your face, arms, back, legs and feet. Barefoot, you feel sand underfoot, still cool from the quiet night. Just in front of you, the green Salmon River rushing by. Clear and cold, the water splashes over rocks worn smooth by the millennia of currents. A fish flashes by quickly in the sunlight. Breathing deeply, you take in the smell of the river. It smells like a combination of rain, damp earth and something else, something indescribable. Looking up at the bright morning sky you see distant cumulus clouds from last night’s storm dissipating with the brilliant sunrise. An osprey, black and white wings with feathers like fingertips soars high on warm thermals. You watch until she slowly disappears behind the grass and pine-covered mountains. Time becomes irrelevant as the day wears on. Walking slowly up the steep slope behind camp, to the rocky outcrop at its pinnacle. Gazing out into the wilderness you notice mountains beyond mountains. Snow still lingering on distant slopes. Looking down into the river corridor, you recognize the hot springs you enjoyed yesterday, sitting vacant in the now dwindling light of day. Still. Silent. Except for drifting clouds. A multitude of animals who call this place home, are here but just out of your view. Quiet lives lived in this vast expanse.
Breathe deep. Exhale. Imagine the distant Salmon River, still lapping against its banks, vacant from river runners. Velvet Falls ceaselessly cascading over the ledge. The worn mountain path, untrodden for now, allows for the Syringa to blossom it’s fragrant blooms more fully. Here is a chance for the wilderness to reclaim itself, if just for a moment. To regenerate. To breathe. To be still and quiet. The animals are resting in the quiet.
We will return to the Salmon River soon enough and she will be there waiting for us. When we return with our friends smiling, may we return with an even deeper appreciation of the wilderness and the vital role it plays in our lives whether we are deeply immersed in it, or meditating on it from far away.
Wishing each of you good health. We are filled with anticipation for our next meeting. All the best!
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