Rivers and Seas

I never liked rivers. I don’t trust them. The water doesn’t hold you up.

Seas, I trust. I like their bounce and the quiet of their depth. Out beyond the waves, beside a boat, there is nothing else but you.

Rivers seem so busy, by contrast. They are going somewhere insistently. And when it rains they are fat and beige, running over the grassy banks and around the feet of trees, too greedy. They sit like slugs in the landscape. They are consuming, impersonal.

Seas, when they swell with weather, are confrontational. They steal your breath with their sound, they roar in your face and slap your skin with spray. They leave salt on your tongue. When the sea is coming for you, it rises like a living thing and pounds the ground like something enraged.

Rivers are insidious. You fall into them and are swept away in silence. If the sea takes you it will rip your feet out from under you, drag you out, push against your tired limbs and overwhelm you. Rivers will let you fall and tumble like a scrap of fabric. Seas are honest.

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Photographs mine, from a walk near Karekare.

 

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