rich-76ON THE RIVER: The Restorative Power of Nature in Difficult Times
This essay was published last year, but in these weeks it may be timely again. Have a great holiday.

On the banks of Owens River, my younger son, Matthew, then 23, and I were trying to cure our nature-deficit disorder.  That day, we staggered across the clumped grass and mud along the Owens and struggled to keep our balance as 40 mph gusts tangled our fly lines.  We froze and sweated in the sleet as the snow line crept lower on the Sierra.  Fishing was terrible, we were miserably cold, and perfectly happy. As we fished, I thought about an earlier time for us on this river.  When the Twin Towers fell, Matthew was 13.  That afternoon, I bundled him into the VW van and took him to this very place.  His brother was off at college by then, otherwise I would have done the same with him. We fled from the great pain that would lead to greater pain, and drove the six hours from San Diego to the Owens, and parked next to the current that washed out all the sound and all the fury.  That night, inside the van, we flipped down the table and ate granola bars and drank hot …

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