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I Don't Know * A Silence on the River * Positive Deviance * Premonitions & The Extraordinary * The Transcendentalist Club

A Silence on the River

I was in a group of about fifty people preparing to take our rafts into the water. There was a guide, a park ranger, who was Native American. His name was Vincent. We mostly didn’t know each other. There was a lot of nervous energy in the group. People were chatting, checking their gear, eating. Some were expecting Vincent to speak and get the trip going. He didn’t seem to be in a hurry. He sat quietly as the group bustled about. Finally, as the group energy settled, he began to talk. I don’t remember him going through a long list of dos and don’ts about rafting, though I’m sure he shared with us the essentials
of what we needed to know. What I remember instead was that he shared a bit about himself and why he worked as a ranger. He talked about the land we were on, and how his ancestors once lived here. He mentioned that there were times when he sat by himself that he could feel the presence of his ancestors still, and hear their voices in the wind and on the river.

When he finished, there was a noticeable calm that came over the group, and we began moving into the water, almost silently. It was really quite beautiful, as if we too might hear something in the sounds of the water and the wind.



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