An unusual set of coincidences Saturday resulted in all the women in my house being out on a girls date and me with no plans.
Free time is a rare commodity these days.
So because the weather was so great, and because I've been hearing a lot about Missouri River flooding, and because I've heard nice things about the place, I pinged Xavier Onassis, King of the Wild Frontier, to see if he wanted to go on photo safari at Kaw Point in KCK.
I've lived in the KC area for way more than a decade and never checked out Kaw Point. It's a really nice river front park/trail on the west bank of the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers. And it has a remarkable view of downtown KCMO.
I've always thought rivers, and the concept of rivers, was a great metaphorical device. I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm not claiming that as an original thought. Far better minds than me have had the same notion.
The river is a strong reminder that we are here but briefly. Water flowed down these channels long before we put up buildings and bridges. And despite our levies, dredgings and sandbags, it will overflow it's banks again. In the not too distant future, it will wash all evidence of our existence out into the ocean, leaving behind only a substance that is too thick to drink and too thin to plow.
That's a bit maudlin. I also like the river as an illustration of how we're all connected. Water that rushed passed us on Saturday was a few days earlier in Montana and South Dakota. And the same power that can uproot trees and destroy towns, can also lead to natural renewal.
The river has a kind of memory of its own. And while it can reflect the natural beauty of our world …
… it can also show us some of our own ugliness.
The river also provides an opportunity for us to bridge it. Calling to mind higher ideals like our drive to overcome obstacles and connect people and places in a positive way.