A short excerpt from my essay “Convergence” from the Summer 2022 issue of EcoTheo Review:
“The Gila River—opaque as butterscotch and laced with agricultural runoff—is ornamented with styrofoam cups, discarded truck tires and diapers engorged with river water. The vegetation is thick so it’s easiest to move in the river. I slide down the slick bank past the prints of a black bear whose movements I echo.
The calf-deep water is cool and ripples shimmy away from my footsteps like the fish that curl into eddies as I walk downstream. The Gila is one of the longest western rivers. Not so long ago, I could have floated from the headwaters in New Mexico through to the Gulf of California in a kayak or raft. Now, water is siphoned off into agriculture fields, reservoirs and canals that turn the Gila into a trickle halfway through its 500-mile journey towards the Colorado River. By the time it reaches this valley southeast of Phoenix, the Gila, whose headwaters are often called the birthplace of wilderness, is no more than an intermittent stream. My hiking boots saturate and sand fills their mesh as I wade, listening to the slur of my steps mix with the ensemble of birds calling along the river’s corridor. Under the shaded arbor of tamarisk, I pause. I am quiet. Sometimes you can only find a thing by being still.”
To read the full essay, purchase the issue (or subscribe!) by clicking here.