Gift of Water

By Charlie West

If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”  This is the first line from one of the chapters in Loren Eiseley’s The Immense journey.  Eiseley goes on to write of coming upon the Platte River after miles of walking hot and dry.  Stripping down to lie in the shallows of the Platte, he felt the call of the river, and though a non-swimmer, he launched himself into the current and began floating, feeling himself, he said, one with the water, “sliding down the vast tilted face of the continent” to the sea.

One warm early spring evening I sat on the screened-in porch of our camp.  The lake was still frozen and there were two to three feet of fresh, clean snow covering everything.  Slowly I became aware of water running, but I could think of no possible source for the sound.  The next morning I went searching, and finally, 500 yards across the bay and into the woods, I discovered a small flow of water.  It drained a micro watershed and fell over a three-foot rock face.  Somewhat egotistically, I named it “West Falls,” and each time I walk the trail on that side of the lake, I detour a short way to see if it is running or not.  Sometimes it’s a true rivulet dropping to the forest floor and then disappearing under…

To read the full story, please pick up a copy of this months Marquette Monthly at one of our distribution outlets.

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