Just west of Golden,
Highway 6 follows Clear Creek
through its small canyon.
The waters move by rushes and pools,
pushing their way through
a tumbling of boulders
bordered by pine trees
and shouldered by the highway.
On a clear summer morning
while the dog days of July
linger and smolder on the plains and prairies,
I park on a clinkered pullout
and walk beside the stream.
The sounds and smells of mountain air
lay bare the smog of the soul:
building tensions of work,
the weariness of repetitive emotion
that forms some sort of carpal tunnel syndrome
in the twisting forms of thoughts I ought to be able to banish
but instead wake to their shapings in the small dark hours.
I sit on a boulder in the piercing sun,
draw in the clearing air
and feel the sounds of water pounding over and against the rocks,
see the froth of what is caught in the shallows,
the changing colors that correspond to depth and speed.
I need years of this,
this strange peace of the sounding surge
that merges vibration and sensation,
the constant smoothing of driftwood and boulders,
the smell of melted snow and pine needles,
away from the relentless minding of miles and minutes,
the infinitely small demands of contrived duty
and obligated responses.
I need years…
but I will take this hour
of intentional pause
and make myself know and remember
that my destination will still be waiting
whenever I arrive.