Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

August River

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.  The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time.  On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops.  Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.  I am haunted by waters.”

Norman MacLean (“A River Runs Through It”)

I almost always visit this park in August.  It’s not its prettiest time of year – that happens near the end of October when all of the trees turn red, yellow, and orange.  And that’s when all the people come.  To see nature on display.  Actually, I do, too.  Even without a camera, it’s worth the trip.

But there’s something enticing about August.  The river isn’t roaring anymore (at least not like it does in the Spring) and the crowds are small.  People are getting ready to send their kids back to school.  So except for a few other old geezers I can have the place to myself.

So I come and watch the river flow.  Just as it always does.  There’s something comforting about that, I think.  It starts somewhere and it ends somewhere.  Predictably.  And it has to follow a certain path.  So long as it doesn’t overflow its banks, there’s only one path it can follow.  There are no choices.  No decisions to make.  No votes to take.  Just water and gravity.



7 Responses to “August River”

  1. John - Visual Notebook

    Water has a mesmerizing effect – I can sit and watch it pass and time slips away like water flowing over the rocks. “A River Runs Through It” was a favorite movie for me, though I confess, I haven’t read the book. Nice, relaxing image..

    • Paul Maxim

      Yes, it’s a great movie. A great book, too. I think MacLean wrote it after he retired (when he was over 70). So maybe there’s creative hope for us “old guys”.

      But it’s the very last line of the story that is so fascinating: “I am haunted by waters”. Like most of the story, it’s a metaphor. A metaphor that can be interpreted in a number of ways. Or I guess you could take it literally. Whatever the choice, the line resonates with me. And maybe someday I’ll get to see Montana………..

  2. Anne Jutras

    Oh, this is so lovely! What a beautiful landscape, I love how the trees and the stonewall frame the composition. Great work!

  3. Earl

    Paul, yes, this is a beautiful spot. I can well understand why you’d keep coming back. I agree with Anne, nice composition and framing of the water and falls — the eye is pulled back to the “white water.” I also really like the green bank on the left. Is that some sort of vine growing down over the rock?

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks, Earl. I’m not sure what exactly is growing on the far bank. I just know that it’s almost always that color green. Even in dry weather (like we had recently) the spray from the falls keeps it well watered. Could be some kind of vine or something – no way to easily get over there and find out that I know of. Probably “off limits” anyway.


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