I grew up along the Hudson River, at the widest part, about 15 miles north of Manhattan. At the place of my childhood home this awesome flowing force swells to be three miles wide–so wide that you can’t see someone on the other side–just before it reaches it’s bottom at Manhattan.
A great shipping channel, a giant estuary spawning new ocean life, a scenic wonder, a source of sustenance for millions. Where it releases itself into the Atlantic it does so as a giant underwater canyon reaching 100 miles out into the ocean.
Bear Mountain Gorge, where it is like a mini fiord. Then town & city after town & city that each built their own sense of self from the river.
Through the Catskill Mountains, and Olana, where the awe-inspiring scenic beauty blossomed the Hudson River School landscape painting style. Then to Albany, where it first finds unity with the Mohawk River. Such a deep history, such a life force, such a great offering from mother nature.
A little farther up and you reach Hudson Falls, a giant cascading cataract of all that water which is the farthest upstream a ship from the ocean can go. Just below the falls is the beginning, or end [depending on which way you were going] of the Erie Canal. I once lived here as well, right along the bits and pieces that remain of the original canal that has now mostly dissolved into history.
Keep going up and you are in the upper Hudson, where the river is narrower, with a lot less water.
Keep going up over more falls, then it goes back into the mountains, the Adirondacks, and narrower and narrower gorges, where you can wave to your friend on the other side. Some of the best whitewater rafting in North America is here. Then it climbs up higher and higher.
You can talk to your friend on the other side now. The river in it’s infancy.
Finally, high up the slopes of the tallest mountain in New York, Mount Marcy, deep in the wilderness,
The birthplace of this life force that gives so much to so many. At Lake Tear of the Clouds you are at the origin, the source, the womb. Here all that energy, all those layers of identity don’t yet exist.
Sit by this source in your own stillness, before all your identities attached themselves, and find your peace.