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Joy Creek

Last spring I paddled up Joy Creek.
The water was high and I couldn't get far.
The cathedral arch of green branches whispered.
The noon sun sparkled like stained glass.

Last summer I paddled up Joy Creek.
The water was lower and I pushed under more of the brush.
I sat in the silence, whispering prayers with the wind.
The morning sun glowed with hope.

Last autumn I paddled up Joy Creek.
I went as far as I ever had, but didn't see anything I hadn't seen before.
I ignored the whispers in the air and in my soul.
There was nothing special about the light.

Today I paddled up Joy Creek.
The creek was nearly dry and the kayak scraped its bottom as I pulled myself along.
Wind howled through the black bones of trees.
The sky was harsh and gray.

Tonight I'm thinking about Joy Creek,
about the sacred journey upstream,
about the sense of awe that its silence and beauty hold,
about the reflections of sky and leaf and branch and soul.

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