Integrating. Re-emerging.

“I follow the way of it, which is always revealed in the moment. When you no longer have a will of your own, there is no time and space. It becomes a flow. You don’t decide, you flow from one happening to the next, and everything is decided for you. To respect the way of it is to follow the simple directions. If it comes to you to do something, just do it.  Doing what’s next, without a mental argument, is devotion to God. It’s a wonderful thing to just listen and obey, to listen and do. And if you follow the voice, you eventually realize that there’s not even a voice. There’s no voice, there’s only movement, you are the movement, and you just watch...What comes next is not your business...It’s exciting to  wait and watch and allow life to move...(me).
 Byron Katie, A 1000 names for Joy
I’m a little over a week back into my regular off the river life. Sitting in front of a morning campfire at home surrounded by anything a person could ever need. 

Like a cool cat named Pearl and 3 solid beverages.

Living solo on the river for 13 days distilled everything down to the bare essentials. I really did have everything I needed there, too. But life back home allows other indulgences and comforts. I appreciate the contrast and it keeps me honest when looking at what I want versus what I need in keeping life simple, in the moment.

 I have felt untethered in this return. Feel different in an unnameable way. I do feel more connected and clear. I feel very curious. The untethered  feeling is  not in a bad way. Just like, wow, what do I do with all this, how do I integrate it? I feel like something really deep got touched inside of me in living with and becoming a part of one River from its source to where it meets the one ocean.  

I’m part of life, This web- and so is the river. And all of the life forms that have returned to that wild corridor that exists because the humans had walked away from it during the years of its demise. 

Current generations still feel the stigma towards the river based on what colonial ancestors, European settlers have done and what we continue to do. I am  keenly aware of how we have failed to acknowledge and make reparations towards the heavy hands laid upon her, in the riverbed, in the fat cells of the living beings who associate with this part of the planet,  including us.
I know, I heard you, what’s happening in this river is not isolated to what’s up stream. It also comes from our tail pipes and out of all the smoke  stacks of the eastern seaboard, burnt coal settling in the clouds traveling  in the prevailing winds up the East Coast.  clouds become pregnant enough to release their contents falling upon northern New England and Canadian provinces- the rains intended to cleanse and feed life. People in the east are in the tailpipes of the nation. Prevailing winds spring special gifts. 
Oops. Funny rain. 

I feel inspired to continue this conversation about a new and improved role in living more cooperatively with the natural world and these resources that exist for life on earth. I’ve been in communication with Landis, executive director of Maine Rivers. I consider her an ally and a friend. Tribes person. I feel excited about increasing public awareness and getting people involved in taking back the night, so to speak. 

Seems like a door has been cracked open. I’d like to continue to open the door and step through it to see how life moves me as a representative,  an advocate for water and all that call it home.

Sidenote, another example of how one person can make a change. Hi five to the scout of girls. 

Getting back into places where there are such things as indoor plumbing, warm showers, water from the tap, even a very clean river to swim in that I live near has caused pause on the immeasurable value of clean water and access to it.

Days after returning home,  I felt compelled to go to the river and just sit there, wade in, swim upstream and float down. The Saco is so incredibly clean. I’ve appreciated it more than ever. It’s so clean that a number of water bottling companies have staked claim to land within its watershed. Nestlé Waters International, the largest label on the planet owning 71 water labels, the multinational conglomerate owns quite a bit of land here. Their bulk water extraction supplies Water with labels in plastic from Maine to Brooklyn and Pennsylvania. Same water comes out of my tap. I call it naked water. Without a label. Free. Unless of course you pump it and label it bottle it truck it and and sell it. The Nestlé truck holding 5000 gallons passes near where I live about every 12 minutes after the bottling plant and distribution. It seems they bought our water.  actually they didn’t pay for it, they just bought the land. Something called  eminent domain.

When the mile thick ice receded 15,000 years ago or so-it left clean very thick clear silt and sand filtering  rainwater recharging the aquifer beneath  the earth that I live on. Lots of springs rise up to the surfaces here. veins of water all under this area connecting to the Vast underwater lake for providing  the sweetest of drinking water. I feel so fortunate to live in an area where the water is so delicious. This has become an exception. 

When I host retreats and guests I always invite them to fully hydrate. Drink up drink up people -this is good stuff.

I get to sail on a clean pond on the other side of this mountain. I can swim freely,  at will, without fear of exposure to poisons. 

Traveling across this country and in other countries I am very clear that clean water is a precious commodity. I’m not sure if it’s true but I recently had the thought that there’s only one amount of water on the planet. Is there only one continuous, circulating evaporating condensing flowing rising and falling amount of water For all of life to share?

So anyways, the journey continues. You’re invited to join me. Perhaps we can come together in conversation and affect change, for the higher good of all involved. What a great conversation to have. Landis and I will be brainstorming soon. We will share what we come up with. Please join us. 

I’m on the move with inspired action, deliberate steps, diligence, calm concentration towards positive change. I’m going to see where life moves me, dances me, flows 
me. Like that magnificent river that exists for all of life. We’re all in this river. Breathing it, floating on it, being moved by it.

If you have ideas, inspirations, direct cooperative actions, do share.

More soon. 


  1. Thank you for continuing the conversation, Jen. The journey didn’t end when the canoe came out of the river. I’m interested in participating. (I’m not sure what this means yet). Feeling grateful as I sip clean water from our well, and wait for the rain to arrive.


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