Watch A River Four Times This Year

I’ve got an odd request for you as we start 2013. Pick a river near you, one that has an accessible bank. Then, circle four dates on your calendar for the upcoming year. Make sure each date is in a different season–winter, spring, summer, and fall. Then, on those dates, go to the river bank and sit down for several minutes and watch the river. Look sharp. Look keenly. Jot down a few notes about what strikes you as the main features in what you’re seeing.

What does this accomplish?

Well, for one very important thing, it gets you out of the house and in the woods. Always a good idea. For another, you’ll see the details of moving water. It’s surprising to realize how much is going on. Third, you’ll begin to appreciate how these details shift over time, from season to season, and how they stack up on top of each other. Finally, I’ll wager you an adult beverage that you’ll gain a richer sense of the interplay between change and continuity.

One river, four seasons, same place, many sights, good thoughts.

You can thank me later. Oh, before I forget, I’m doing this in 2013, too.