Tag: River

Notes on Utah: Stillness and Waiting

“Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact. Every appearance in nature corresponds to some state of the mind.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson “Language”

At the beginning of Summer, the Uinta mountains are still capped in snow.

Winding forested roads brought me closer to the summit. I walked along the rocky bank of a river that seems to flow into the sky.

Soon I came to small waterfall that raged against the surrounding nature, bringing trees and rocks downstream.

As the snow of winter continued to melt, the water moved more quickly and violently— taking whatever stood in it’s way with it.


The movement brought color and allowed nature to flourish.

Everything here contained so much life.

After ascending the summit, a valley with an expansive lake waited.

The lake was frozen, pocked with small holes that had thawed, giving a glimpse of the lake bed.

The stillness just waited.

Rounding the shore of the lake, there was a small bench. Sitting there I became complicit in the stillness.

Everything here was lifeless, just waiting.

Waiting for what? 

A curved tree is beginning to uproot from a small mound of soil rising from the lake.

Teetering precariously, just waiting.

Waiting for what?

No birds are singing, no one is around. The land is waiting.


In a few months the ice will thaw and movement will return.

The trees and water of the lake are waiting, they are poised to accept the return.

The river will dry up as the winter thaws. The stillness will go there and wait.

Nature is a reflection of our mind. We understand nature because it represents our own structures of meaning.

We see a flower bloom and wilt. We see the sun rise and set. We see stillness leave and return.

We can comprehend this because we know about beginnings and ends from our own sense of mortality.

The river and the lake will soon change places.

The stillness of life is always punctuated by an outflow of movement.

Until those moments occur we wait.