Rivers brought me heart-shattering loss - then gave me a home

9. srpna 2022 10:30


Author Amy Jane Beer?s fascination with these elemental environments was halted by tragedy, but with time she has returned to find a deep sense of connectionSomething happens to our brains when we stare at moving water: a sort of broad, effortless attentiveness. Psychologists call this state "soft fascination? and suggest that in it we might find relief from anxiety and mental fatigue, an opening up to freewheeling patterns of thought. Spend a quiet hour on a riverbank watching water slide by and you might find yourself wondering where it comes from, and where it might be going. You might even ask yourself What is a river? The answer is simultaneously simple enough that it is taught to nursery-age children, and vast enough that the mind struggles to hold it. To me, for many years, rivers meant adventure, adrenaline. The kayaking years, when almost every weekend and holiday would see us loading boats on to cars, sometimes on to planes, and even, a few times, helicopters, and chasing rain or melt. There?s not much to match white water paddling for physical, emotional and technical challenge, or experiencing places and sights most people rarely get to see. Then, in 2012, the joy and the thrill became awful, heart-shattering loss. That of Kate, a beloved friend, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an extraordinary person. She was a highly competent paddler. But flow can be chaotic, and sometimes it takes even the best. It was almost seven years before I could bring myself to visit the place. Years in which I grew older, more cautious, a mother myself. But when I did go, I found something I wasn?t expecting. Not closure, or peace, or even the words to say goodbye ? none of the things I was probably looking for. Instead I found wonder and a sort of gentle tug, as familiar and insistent as gravity. Continue reading...


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