When my childhood house went cold—not the oxygen and nitrogen, but the mood, the atmosphere around my parents—when that froze into stasis, into wariness, into step-lightly-quietly-invisibly, I would retreat outside where I could breathe without inhaling daggers of ice. I could walk, exhale, stand still and let the fluid air move past me, that river-wind, the water-breeze. To the river I walked to watch geese waddle, fish jump, crayfish snap. I climb my tree. I sink into her branches, her cradling limbs; this bough won’t break. I follow the turbulence of the waves as the river tumbles past boulders and semi-submerged logs. Ripple, spiral, swirl: the action and ease of flowing water. Too soon the earth turns away from the sun and I can’t stay by the river forever, so I tuck the images inside me, nestle the sights and smells into the nooks of my body. I nurture that river within and carry her with me: to school the next day, to my home when it grows chill again. I carry those river experiences all the way into the future to draw upon when needed. This river never runs dry.