The Rappahannock River and I

 Why is a river an amazing roommate?

She just likes to go with the flow~~~

Saturday September 1st, 2018. That was my first encounter with the river. As I paddled up the Rappahannock in my single kayak, I examined the intricately simple design of the water. Everything seemed so chaotic yet peaceful at the same time. It was evident that mother nature followed no rules. She took hold of what was hers and did with it what she wanted. Every so often, when I wasn’t struggling with the paddles, I would take a moment to take in the scenery at around me. At first, I did not notice much but, as we continued to paddle on, the value of the river became so much clearer. Being fairly knew at kayaking, I tended to linger behind the rest of the group. This gave me a chance to have an individual experience with the wildlife around me. I spotted birds along the sides of the river, variations of rock formations, tree roots taking over whatever land was available, and insects dancing along the top of the river but never breaking its surface. I could see the surface tension of the water with each stride of a water skeeter. It was like the insect was being cautious as if not to upset mother nature’s balance.  After paddling for a while longer, we finally stopped and pulled our boats and boards unto a strip of muddy land. If we weren’t immersed in the river before, we sure were now. Taking a swim in the river was calming. The water was not too cold nor too hot. I floated on the river for a bit and that was when I fully saw, my favorite art aspect of nature..the sky. For as long as I can remember, I have always been in awe of the sky. Its constant movements, transitions, and attitudes. One second, it’s filled with warmth, birds, and an abundance of blue. The next, it becomes the polar opposite. It draws out so much emotion from men- fear, longing, joy, angst and contentment. The sky embodies rage and tranquility at the same time. We build, model, and schedule our days and lives around it. Around what time the sun rises and sets, around whether it is going to rain or snow, and around what phase of the moon will appear at night. The sky also serves as a constant reminder of my religious beliefs. Looking up at it made me admire the God I serve and his hand in creation. As unpredicatable as nature can be, of course it started raining. Raindrops filled my glasses. The water level slowly began to rise. Thunder was booming and lightning was striking every now and then. And it was time to get out of the water. You can never get too comfortable with nature because you never know what she is going to throw your way. We all huddled on the narrow strip of land she provided. Every so often we had to pull the paddle boards, kayaks, and canoes up so they wouldn’t float away. I and three other girls got under the canoe to remain as dry and warm as nature would allow us. This was it. The moment that we almost died. Just kidding. We had a pretend “Castaway” situation for aboput thirty minutes. We almost got rescued by a boat. False hope.. They drove away. After two cereal bar snacks, failed muddy yoga, and a performance from a three-man accapella group, enough time had passed for the rain to settle down. We took this chance to make a run for it, or a paddle for it. The trip back was definitly not as great as the trip there but it was still valuable. I saw the exact same forms of nature but in a different way. Things that were on my right were now on my left, and vice versa. I was more observant that time around as I had gotten a hang of the paddles. After about fifteen minues of intense paddling while still being soaked, we made it back to the dock.  

The Rappohannock. An expirience with nature I never will forget.