In nature nothing stands alone, and instead, is connected to everything above it, below it, before it, behind it and beside it.

Connections seem to be the message today.

We were shuttled a few miles upstream from Alcantara Vineyards. We would begin the two hour float on the Verde River, with a unique look at the riparian corridor.  The colorful kayaks were stacked at the waters edge.  The evidence indicative of flash floods from a few weeks earlier was daunting, but the calmer water and blue sky win the day. fullsizeoutput_536d.jpeg

Everything about our woodsy launching point was picture perfect, seemingly  in-tune with it’s surroundings and meant to be as it was. But nature is like that, isn’t it?   The trees and shrubs grow in places conducive to their needs and the river flows freely with you or without you.

And that said, a push off the river bank, away from this exact place in time, was only for me. Everyone’s launch took them a different direction, to experience a unique perspective, and yet, we all remained connected to the river.   fullsizeoutput_5370

And life is like that, isn’t it?  Our journeys are different, and yet the connections to everyone one we meet and places we visit all contribute to that very journey.

Much of the  kayaking trip on the Verde River felt like a jungle, uncharacteristic of AZ. We remained together, but every turn brought us new places to explore, every experience unique to us. fullsizeoutput_5372

The confluence of the Verde River to Oak Creek brought us here, Alcantara Vineyards.fullsizeoutput_536b.jpeg

I looked back towards the river, now hidden. I smiled at the thought of the heron we startled along the way, of the escaped paddle we retrieved downstream, of the guy who decided he felt like a bug on a leaf, and the other one who floated backwards through the rapids. Me? I had the challenge of independantly freeing myself from the “jungle”.  All great fun with Verde Adventures.

But more then that, this is where nature taught us about connection.   While we bask with nature itself, we enjoy friends, adventure, and we see first hand where the confluence meets.  But the final connection of water to wine connects it all to us.

Live, Laugh, Love, – Always.

Wind Kisses, Donna

Inspired by Frank Jansen Photography