The river that draws the east and north boundaries at Windhorse Retreat flows from Medicine Lake, about 40 km NW. The Medicine River then wanders through 15,000 acres of crown land and a few farms, until it arrives at the retreat and cuts our winding, deep banks, the edges that define us.
The river slept under the ice and snow
when we moved here, then rose silently
and quickly over its banks to take over the lower fields in spring. It became the
colour of strong tea in early summer and now it is lazy, napping within lush, grassy folds. We have not yet known it in autumn.
The Medicine River is an old and wise river. It is a quiet river - it does not chatter over rocks – but we can feel that it is there, always. It breathes slowly and strongly, rising and falling with the seasons. Its presence is a source of strength as it nourishes the land and anchors our retreat.
"If you're not beside a real river, close your eyes, and sit down beside an imaginary one, a river where you feel comfortable and safe. Know that the water has wisdom, in its motion through the world, as much wisdom as any of us have. Picture yourself as the water. We are liquid; we innately share water's wisdom." [Eric Alan, "Meditation Draws Its Power From the Water," The Oregonian (September 11, 2005)]