The River

by Christine Rice

photography by Christine Rice

photography by Christine Rice


How does an affair start?

The gentle teasing, the flirty touch. It takes little effort. The beginning. When the Sun rises in the morning the light begins to tease the River. The touch brings a response. Tentative at first then flaring into glorious passion.

Nothing brings out the best in the River like the light.

Illicit, meant to be or both? They don’t have to decide, if it is fate that they’ve come together. Everything around them depends on it. Waits on it, loves to take advantage of it. Like watching any good love story, it brings out the best in some.

The grasses along the River try to get closer as if they want to become an actual part of the pair.

Some days the Clouds interfere with the meetings between the River and the Sun. Like a jealous third party, trying to sabotage the dalliance.

Truth be told the River sometimes finds comfort in the interruption of the Clouds from the persistent presence of her lover, using up her energy and sapping her resources.

The Wind can appear as well. Unpredictable. Gentleness and comfort can turn into violence and control at a whim.

From the beginning of the day to the oncoming darkness of the night, the River anticipates the next sighting of the Sun. The caress of its glance and the bold directness of its light.

The animals come along as soon as they can in the morning to be a part of the greeting of the two. At dusk they come to say goodnight. Humans too, are not immune. Every day the world watches and believes it is a relationship that will never die. At least they all fervently hope none of the species will bring it to an end. The River is a help and support to her community. The fish, the birds, animals big and small are included in the River’s family.

The River needs the Rain in a different way than it needs the Sun. She struggles to keep the two in balance. She can’t leave one for the sake of the other. For each by themselves for long periods of time would be more than the River could take.

The Rain makes the River dance and move. Together they play sometimes for days and nights. The River enjoys the attention of the Rain. For a time. Alas, as with some relationships, it can get violent and abusive. The Water is pushed and pummelled and forced sometimes to do what she does not want to do. She shivers and struggles at the mercy of her partner the Rain. Thankfully he lets go and moves on. This codependency is to some degree a necessary element in her life. But how happy she is when the Rain moves on and the Sun appears.

Everyone is happier. The children of the River play. The seal plays with the sea gulls and the otters hold hands and drift through the day. The salmon find their long travel a little easier. We are all happier when the lovers get together. Their happiness radiates and makes us happy too.

They can’t meet every day, the River and the Sun. Sometimes the River does not see the Sun for days, but she reacts with joy when they meet. No recriminations. There are times when the Sun just gets a glimpse of the River during the day but still the short greeting sets the River sparkling. The dark mood is gone for a moment. She knows she can depend on an appearance, if not every day, as often as possible. The Sun knows he has to push through the other suitors to find its place in the relationship as the River has other commitments.

Sometimes there is a troublesome friend that inserts himself into the time the Sun and the River have together. Sometimes just a little, sometimes a lot. He steals their precious moments, becoming boisterous and impossible to ignore. Both the River and the Sun indulge the Wind after all it is helpful at times. But the more they encourage him the more bothersome he becomes. The River still finds moments to shine with the Sun resisting the gusty attention seeking friend’s efforts to become the dominant one in the relationship.

The Sun follows the curves of the River seeking, caressing and intent. As time allows them, they play together enjoying first one position and then another. The River can be bold and shy all in the same day. Sometimes acting like they are meeting for the first time. Sometimes acting very familiar. Lights and prisms dance, the light reaches depths the River has never shown anyone else. Yet she keeps secrets. Private pools of contemplation that she does not want to share.

A place she feels she needs to hold back from the sun though it might let the wind and the clouds have a glance.

The River has many relationships, depends on differences of each. Some steamy and stormy. Some complicated but she is loyal to all. She even has a somewhat shallow relationship with the Moon. There are times when he makes her feel so beautiful and he is helpful at night to her community of animals and people.

Above all the River loves the Sun. Loves to spend time with the Sun, and basks in his attentions. The joy she feels is obvious to all. It can not be hidden. It is a wonderful love affair.

Chris Rice is a member of The Squamish Writers Group. She is a beginner at writing, and is currently working on a novel. She has lived in many places around the world and paints, draws and does photography. Being creative is a big part of who she is. She lives in Brackendale BC.