I have come to realize that when there is erosion - when there are larger bits of the earth being ground into smaller bits - in that space - something is released - particles, gasses, elixirs, ethers, essences -
When the wind blows on the cornice and sends ice crystals into whirling funnels - when water rolls over a sand bed and sends up plumes of granules, dirt in the wind, bits of tree, flower, branches blowing by in gale force - when there is sufficient power to move pieces of the earth around and reshape the land - there is power there - there is energy and something is released -
Maybe that is why I love rivers so much - because I know that always when I am floating on a river or when I sit next to one that not far from me there is a process at work - that the water at its deepest and haviest and most powerful is moving and grinding away at the bedrock beneath me. I remember once hearing from some friends in CHile that had just paddled on a river close to Santiago - they said the sound of the whitewater - the roar of the water on the surface - was drowned-out by the clacking of the boulders thrashing about below their hulls.
That kind of force releases bits and pieces - shards of rock are bludgeoned from large boulders and they become rocks and those become pebbles and those become sand and those become talc and those become the ethers of rivers - glacial flour - the flour of the river - a faint dust from boulder to dust and all done by water. When that happens - there is more surface area to react - like the classic chemistry demonstration: candle in the bottom of a sealed five gallon bucket with a turkey baster of flour sprayed into it. Boom!
All that surface area of the flour granules burns immediately and there is a large explosion. The more surface area, the more opportunity for reaction.
More opportunities for reaction... opportunities for connection. When I am surrounded by the tiny bits and motes of the earth and life and body floating around in nature that are not filtered out I am bathed in some of the wisdom of the place. I take it into my body. Breathe it in. Since I am in the middle of all of that surface area I too have more opportunity to burn and connect and react with more of that place.
So when the water flows or the wind blows and things begin to move, to sway and grind and roll around, life is more animate. It is more spirited. The holy belly is unzipped... the ethers emerge.