Notes from Windward: #66

The River

Sarah talks about the cool Klickitat
on a hot summer afternoon

      It is 98 degrees out and the heat of the sun seems to pervade through every object, every plant, every animal. Waves of heat seem to suck out the moisture, the life, in everything they come in contact with. Working outside in times like this would practically be human sacrifice for the sun.

Sarah ready for a dip in the Klickitat


      There is only one thing that can resist these relentless, dry, scorching rays and rejuvenate our spirits -- the Klickitat River. We hear it calling and head its way, driving down the steep hill upon which Windward lays and through the small sleepy town of Klickitat.

      Despite the heat of day, the river maintains its glacial freshness as it persistently and smoothly makes its way to the sea. It embodies much of Windward's approach to sustainability. It is strong, vibrant, and continuous. Although it may slow down at times -- rocks and dams may get in its way -- these things are simply temporary obstacles, not barriers. It also provides nourishment to plants and animals and energy to much of the surrounding area.

      Windward also persists in its goal towards sustainability although not always at the same speed. Windward also gives back to the surrounding society with its internship program and sustainable systems.

      The hot day and our trip to the river remind me of how the Columbia is slowed by the dams. The river must slow in order for us to extract its energy, just as we slow to recharge and rejuvenate, leaving us all the more prepared for future work and fun at Windward.

Jillian and Virgil build a temporary dam


      Arriving at the river, I submerge myself in its refreshing depths, then Jacki and I explore its banks and the mysterious artifact of an abandoned house near its edge as Virgil and Jillian build up a dam from round river rocks, and settle in to watch the water rush around their impromptu dam while they sit in refreshing tranquility watching the river rush by.

Notes From Windward
      Index - Vol. 66