Athena's Web Weekly Column

  Week of May 4th - May 10th,  2001

Missouri Mud

Columns Archive


   The day was hot. It was an early spring day, with clear, cloudless skies and a strong, steady sun. Returning home after a month on the road, the path was starting to feel familiar. Driving for hours on end through the flatlands of Kansas and Missouri was easy enough, but as the afternoon wore on, my backbone began to mold to the seat as the unobstructed solar rays slowly fused everything into one. Leaning forward momentarily relieved the numbness, but the cool air further reminded me of how uncomfortable and damp with perspiration my back was. With over 450 miles already covered since sunrise, the silver Subaru would log in over a thousand miles before the day was done, from western Kansas to eastern Kentucky.


White Line Fever
Kansas City from Interstate 70

   In an effort to break the monotony, I watched for a welcome well of water. It felt like a good time to engage in my regular ritual of jogging in place to help restimulate the circulation. The question was where? Keeping an eye out for water, any body of water, would be nice. The transiting Moon in Gemini was approaching a trine to my natal Neptune, helping me to relax and recharge. Knowing these water rulers (the Moon rules Cancer, while Neptune rules Pisces, both water signs) were supporting a break heightened my awareness. A little later the silver streak crossed over one of countless concrete and steel bridges along the Interstate, and I quickly pulled into the breakdown lane, and then backed up so the bridge abutment protected my rear flank.

The Silver Streak in Colorado

The Silver Streak on Monarch Pass, CO

   Locking the car and working my way down the brush, brambles and litter strewn along the roadside under the bridge, the warmth now felt good as I anticipated discovering the wonders of nature down by the riverside. The reverberation of eighteen wheelers shook both earth and steel as they passed overhead. Yet amidst all this hidden debris and man-made technology, a disturbance in the rock and cement rubble under the bridge suddenly caught my attention as a snake demonstrated its protest to my presence by agitating the bramble, and then slithering under a rock. Realizing I had once again just passed under my Pluto line I proceeded with caution and respect, now more focused on my descent than the river. This was fertile ground for our legless friends, warmed by the Sun with crevices everywhere to hide.

   The bank next to the river was a study in browns. Lighter and darker shades of rectangular earth framed by the dried and cracked mud. As I begin to bounce in place, my feet molded and shaped the still damp earth under me. My focus wavered between the reflections on the water to the repetitive drone of the tons of marketed materialism passing above, from which I had just escaped.

   After my dance, I decided to heed the call of the beckoning waters and walked upstream where the bank greets the river at a more appropriate angle for entry. While wondering about pollution as I disrobe, a fish jumps out of the water after an insect. Accepting this synchronistic sign, I walk to the edge, my feet sinking deeper into the Missouri mud, it's cool comfort first squeezing between my toes and then swallowing my entire calves. Offering a prayer to the spirit goddess of these waters, the Moon's trine to Neptune presses me to her bosom before I surrender completely to her cool embrace.


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