October 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 3
By Don Price
Three whole days to float the river brings one in rapport withnature, a kind of cadence, in step with peace. (It’s better thantext messaging.) The gift of inner peace is yours if you go witha friend or even alone, but you mustn’t hurry or you’ll miss theriver’s quintessence.Mighty sweet to your ear is the melody of purling water;you’ll discover a song by reposing your ear toward chert ascore of miles northwest, with ancient coils slowing the river’scadence to a rhythm Bach would envy.A river offers relief to anyone who will immerse himself in itscoolness, but the difficulty is the slowing down to appreciate it,to feel its power, but contemporary man seems to yearn forsuperficial pleasure; he’s already planning to leave before heeven gets there.Slowing down nowadays brings about the almost lost trait of patience, the pause to recognize nature’s harmony. (It would beshocking to know how many are still reading this essay; one’s cellphone keeps ringing, and one’s missing his favorite TV soap.)While warmed by a small campfire, lean your tired back against a cut bank of driftwood, perhaps to puff a good briarwhile filling your lungs with the aroma of black river coffee.Allow your muscles and mind to relax.After grasping a few sublime thoughts, the truth will emergethat you are satisfied with what you’ve got and where you are.Entrepreneurship shouldn’t be found around the next bend of the river either: Nary a hot dog stand, we hope. Just give me the rugged and rolling Palo Pinto country, thisupper middle Brazos, so that I might be allowed to rusticate anhour or so.I yearn to trundle the sandbanks of Los Brazos de Dios untilmy boots are full of river sand; I yearn to set a trotline in its belly for a big yeller, and I want to stand in its heart waist deepwhere the current has force.Yea, this brings the catharsis. Bring it on! I yearn to loll underthe shade of a majestic live oak on the second bank; I want toshade my eyes with sunburned hands to search the landscapeas the Comanche warrior did.And I even yearn to do such a simple thing as hack the heartfrom a cedar with a three-pound Kelly, the favorite tool used by cutters in Brad country seventy-five years ago; just to hearthe ring of ax ricocheting off a limestone canyon wall in earlysun would tend to satisfy that portion of my life.
In a way our U.S. Constitution seems to be coming apart.We’ve lost our gyroscope in a stormy sea. It’s disturbing to seeinflation evaporate the savings we’ve worked a lifetime to earn.Interest on CDs is an embarrassment, even to a neighborhood banker. Justice seems to be a farce, an amorphous data dragon cling-ing to contradicting statutes.Perhaps each of us has been the victim of a crime; seeminglythe criminal has a better chance in the courtroom than we do.Because many laws are ambiguous, criminal lawyers seem to be having a field day. Whoever has the deepest pockets often-times wins, and this is seemingly no accident.
See page 4
Outdoors Along the Brazos
Three Days on the River in October