This blog originates on the banks of the Atchafalaya River, in Louisiana. It proposes to share the things that happen on and by the river as the seasons progress. As the river changes from quiet, warm, slow flow to rises of eighteen feet or more, there are changes in the lives of the birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles that use the river. And the mood of the river changes with the seasons. I propose to note and comment on these things.

My Photo
Location: Butte La Rose, Louisiana, United States

I transitioned a few years ago from a career as a water-pollution control biologist. I want to do this blog to stay in touch with a world outside my everyday surroundings, whatever they may be. I like open-minded company and the discussion of ideas. Photo by Brad Moon.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Old and New

Today we heard that we have a brand new granddaughter enwombed in Texas. She is about four months growing now and is set to emerge in March or so. And, tonight a good friend is sleeping in a hospital in Lafayette, preparing for a very serious operation in the morning.

In the constant expression of beginnings and endings, the fresh new beginning in Texas is a joyous marker for that place on the circle where new things live. At the other end is that place where older things release themselves to perhaps begin again somewhere unknown to us. Either way, at whichever end, the circle of life goes on with each of us a part of it.

On a log floating beneath the dock on the river I see this dragonfly. It is just beginning its part of the great circle of life, that part where it changes from its watery world to one of incredible acrobatic feats in the sky. The symbolism just seems to jump out at you. Here is a new thing, something that is the same but is not the same. It is water and then it is air.

In March there will be a new thing in Texas that will be a part of us, but will be a something wholly on its own in the world of new things, like the dragonfly taking to the air for the first time. Tomorrow morning at the hospital in Lafayette there will the opportunity for our friend to move on without us, or not, perhaps staying with us a little longer. One new and one nearing a state of ending, there must be a way to welcome both of these things equally. But it is hard.

We are lucky to have this river, and the time to use it. It is a good place to think about the dragonfly, and Texas, and the potential for the end/beginnings of life.

The Atchafalaya is at 4.6 feet on the Butte La Rose gauge, falling to 4.1 by Monday. But, the Ohio and Mississippi are both rising at the rate of about 1.5 feet/day all the way up and that means we will get some water here in about ten days.

Rise and Shine, Jim


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