"Many a calm river begins as a turbulent waterfall,
yet none hurtles and foams all the way to the sea."
|Snoqualmie River - Lainey Piland photo|
I took this photo during a recent walk along the Snoqualmie Valley Trail near Carnation. The Snoqualmie River was quietly lazing along within its autumn-hued banks in the late afternoon light. On that day, as it usually is, the river was calm, peaceful, and beautiful, its surface reflecting the surrounding world in watery shadows. The sight ignited a tranquil warmth within me.
Thanks to the pouring rainstorms over the Cascade Mountains yesterday, the river is no longer peaceful. Today it is an angry torrent, threatening to spill over, taking muddy chomps out of the banks that contain it, and sending its destructive currents close to homes, roads, and farmland. This river is menacing, dangerous, and frightening to behold in its wildly uncontrolled state.
Coming back to this photo taken on a sunny afternoon not long ago, I couldn't help but think of the comparison between the two states of the river - the swift change from peaceful to destructive, from shining clarity to angry murkiness - in light of the recent riots and protests which have dominated the news headlines across the country since Monday evening.
Nature so often acts as a mirror in which we can see a metaphorical reflection of ourselves. We just need to keep in mind that it is only in that peaceful, shining river that we're able to see our own watery reflection... an angry, muddy torrent will obscure and sweep it away.
|Source: welshbabe [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons|