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Confluence - Spring
May 2019
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Central California had a lot of precipitation this winter - heaps of snow in the Sierra; and now, springtime. Along Sierra creeks it's a lesson in abundance.

My research on streams is the focus of these newsletters, but I am also working on a Lake Tahoe-focused commission about forest management for the National Forest Foundation. A trip to Lake Tahoe for that project doubled as a foray into melting snow.
 
Warmth and longer days bring transformations everywhere. Dormant willows are protected from sub-freezing winter air under blankets of snow. As those blankets melt the plants wake again. Like eager adolescents, they come out flowers first.
 
There was so much water it was often hard to distinguish streams from trails, or streams from not-streams. Water was pretty much everywhere.
 
In my February Newsletter I wrote about the paths and pauses of water, how droplets and pools are shaped by the things they reflect. (I think too of the rectangle of still water that repeats, aqueously, the Washington and Lincoln Memorials on the National Mall.) And time too: these mountain puddles are ephemeral as clouds.
 
Like a primordial irrigation system, folds of granite direct water to a thriving bonsai garden. Fissured by tree roots and abraded by water and sand, those folds may become river channels in another epoch or two. Many people speak of nature as a healing influence. Perhaps it's because details such as a crack in granite can widen into larger frames of meaning, reconnecting fragments of experience to a context of continuous integration.
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All images by Todd Gilens unless noted otherwise.

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