You are drifting in a canoe down the turquoise river. The river before you is lit up with a spill of glitter on the surface from the fading afternoon sunlight.
The river idly passes through a crack within the mountains which have been furrowed and jumbled by ancient glaciers that once covered the landscape.
High above you see juniper, spruce and aspen trees clinging precariously to the rocks. The season is turning. You notice the shift in the light, and the leaves on the aspen trees have changed from green to yellow. A few of the aspens are beginning to lose their leaves. They float on the surface of the water. Here and there along the riverbank, you see the last blooming autumn wildflowers, the purple aster and the thistle floss in the soft breeze.
A hawk passes before the sun and its shadow sprints for a moment along the bottom of the canoe.
As you look down over the side of the boat, you see the brilliant-cut glass interior of the water sliding away beneath you.
A dragonfly of crazed enamels alights momentarily on the prow of your canoe.
After a while, the boat beaches itself on a broad shore of thick, coarse sand mixed with mica.
Some ravens are startled by the boat's arrival and caw angrily from an old cottonwood tree. They disappear as you pull the canoe up on the river bank.
You sit down and watch the sunlight glow then fade away on the rock face opposite you as the sunsets.
The river takes on a blue haze of amethyst emptiness, and with it, the water exhales with the dank chill of dusk.
You walk along the beach and collect enough driftwood and twigs to make a big fire. The wood has been bleached out and is bone dry.
You light a match.
In no time the flames are blazing with a crackle of flashes and pops. You take off your coat and create a place to lie down on in the sand.
The flames burn brightly, and sparks fly high up into the night sky and disappear. The smoke smells like juniper smoke and sagebrush.
In the background, you also notice the constellations of fireflies. They blink on and off in the darkness close to the sand of the beach and higher up on the rock face.
Above the cliffs, the moon is full and round. It casts two-dimensional shadows on the rock walls surrounding you.
The fire glows and provides warmth from the chill night air. You feel peaceful and safe. The embers in the fire hypnotize you, and slowly you float off into a deep sleep.
You are walking through a field of grass that has been burned and worn down by the sun. In the distance, you can see a tidal marsh with a river undulating gently through it curling its way to the sea.
As you are walking, you notice in the field opposite three horses are leaping about and tossing their long manes. They stop short by the gate, snort and look at you with wild eyes, before galloping away.
Apart from a soft breeze, there is great solitude and peacefulness. Lining the field are thick, high hedgerows which provide shelter and shade. As you walk along beside the hedgerows, you notice tufted hair grasses, ryegrass, quaking grass, needle grass, stinging nettles, foxtails and angelica. Butterflies, bees and other insects find refuge here. You cannot see, but you can hear the winged world of murmurings and rustles in the wiry bushes.
The path leads you to a marsh with tall, thick reeds. The low afternoon sunlight sends pencil-lines of shadow shooting through the calligraphy of them. The marsh is intersected with dykes and mounds.
The river here loops around through the marsh in silence. At this hour, the tide is high. The water looks polished and glassy. Without a ripple, it perfectly mirrors the cloud-stained sky. Cyan and grey. It also reflects the green-furred mudflats and the delicate cattails.
You see a wooden stairway cut into the bank which leads down to the shore. For whatever reason, a beach has been created randomly by the nature of the tides and the erosion here. You climb down the stairway. The force of the water has flattened the sand, and the sun has dried it enough for you to sit comfortably.
You look down at the sand and notice oyster shells, odd-shaped stones and a small piece of delicate porcelain with an intricate black pattern of a vine and a Fleur de Lys.
On the opposite bank, you see stark white egrets and herons prowling along the edge of the river stalking their prey in the shallows. They, too, are reflected in the glassy water.
A small colony of the sea birds race and run up and down the mudflats searching for food. They cry and whistle before flying and skimming along the tranquil waterway to another area somewhere up the shore.
Other silent, mysterious creatures also haunt this flat wilderness — in a different world with its own strange magic.
Across from where you are sitting, you see the remains of an ancient boat. The broken hull looks like the skeleton of a whale now. In another time it had a name and was christened like a child. It ferried goods and people from one place to another, and before that, the wreck was a tree growing in a forest.
The day's light is beginning to turn the sky to a dusky lavender shadow. You feel the chill of dusk start to settle on the river bank along with the smell of the salt marsh perfumed with the sea. The tide is turning. It's time for you to walk back home.
You find yourself alone on a beach enclosed by a small rocky cove.
The sand under your feet is coarse and granular. Here and there you notice patches of seaweed that look like dark green bootlaces which have been abandoned by the tide.
The cove is sheltered and protected from the wind, and as a result, the water is tranquil--smooth, glassy and the colour of emerald green.
It is a late summer day with a china blue sky. A faint breeze stirs your hair. The sun is at a particular angle that casts your long, narrow shadow on the beach in front of you.
You have heard that if you dig down deep enough in the sand on the beach here, you will come upon trees. Under the sand, at one time there was a forest.
The sea is enlivened by a multi-coloured array of mooring buoys checkered orange and white, half black and red, variegated in green, blue and orange.
Some boats are laid up on the beach. You decide to borrow one that belongs to your friend. The rowing boat is small, old fashioned and constructed of varnished wood.
You push it out into the bay. The water feels refreshing on your bare feet. You easily climb into the boat, pick up the oars and start gently rowing away from the beach.
After a while, you stop rowing and look back at the shore. You notice the small trees on the top of the exposed ridgeline have been bent down by the wind into unnatural shapes.
You decide to lie back on the smooth hull of the boat and take in the sun. You feel the boat gently drifting in the small current. The only sound in the afternoon sunlight is the sea, a light breeze and some seagulls. You imagine the ocean floor below: the fabled creatures, the sharks, the shells, the ancient treasures.
A bird flies overhead with a catch of fish in its beak.
You feel a gentle bump under the boat. When you peer over the side, you see a small whale gliding in between the long flakes and blades of light in the clear water where motes shift and spin. The whale is steel colour, a gigantic pillar of sentience. As it turns, you notice it has a white underside with deeply etched linear marks.
You lose sight of the whale, but in a few moments, the whale reemerges nearby on the surface of the sea, exhaling a v-shaped mist that turns into a multitude of faded rainbows in the sunlight.
The whale hangs suspended just below the surface as if considering whether to come closer to the boat or not. You can hear it breathing. For a moment, you feel your breath blending with the breath of the whale.
The whale dives, and you lose sight of it. You wait patiently wishing for it to return.
You hear the whale exhale again on the opposite side of the boat. When you go over to look, you discover the whale has rolled over and is gazing up at you with its large curious amber-coloured eye. You are staring at each other and into each other.
You gently tap the surface of the water, and slowly the whale moves close enough for you to touch it. The skin feels like the soft underside of your wrist. The feeling is so personal and escapes words.
In an instant, the whale slides away and disappears with barely a ripple.
The air is suddenly still, and the ocean like a grail.
Nearby the surface of the water erupts as the whale breaches and twists before disappearing again. And then it is gone.
You lie back on the boat with a sense of wonder-- a feeling you have been realigned in your soul.
The stillness returns and you feel lulled by the gently rocking boat, the soft breeze and the sound of the ocean.
〰️ Clara 〰️
I am bringing my favourite outside experiences and imaginings to create visualizations that encourage peace and relaxation.