Saturday, May 31, 2008
Cleaning Out the Stream
It was warm today, the first day in a month I've been able to wear shorts. Florida wuss that I am.
So I used the late morning to clean out the stream. This mainly consists of picking up fallen limbs and pulling jewel weed. But it also involves rearranging the rocks in the stream bed to increase the water flow.
The ultimate end of doing that is to send a faster flow over the waterfall. It's not a big waterfall as you can see from the brief snippet. It only falls a couple of feet. But look at that wonderful boulder in the background. It's fifty feet tall.
Anyway, every year I return to the stream to see how the rocks have rearranged themselves in my absence. Over the years I've given up trying to totally redirect the stream into one single path downhill. It wants to go into a lot of little branches under roots or disappear completely underground, and no matter what I do to coax it into the main streambed (all in the interests of increasing the drama of the waterfall), during the winter the stream decides where it truly wants to go.
So I make my small changes each spring, knowing they will be undone over the winter. So be it. In Robert Frost's words this is my "temporary stay against confusion." A small, albeit transitory attempt to impose my own will on something that ultimately refuses to be ordered and reined in.
I'm okay with that. I don't think I do any permanent damage to the stream by "fixing it" each spring. It amuses me and it's a good workout, and for a time the results are visually pleasing. But I know who's boss. And it's not me.