Finding My Inner Spring

The Journey To Through River Eyes

We all have it inside of us - an inner spring, an inner fire, an inner whirlwind - just waiting to burst from the seams and be part of our everyday reality. It is an energy that comes directly from our heart. It can guide us. It can teach us. It can carry us. It can INSPIRE us. So often we suppress this wonderful, beautiful, innate part of ourselves. Maybe we’ve seen how powerful it is, and we’re afraid. Maybe it was dammed so long ago we forgot it’s even there. 

I forgot, but I am remembering.


When I was little, there weren’t too many days I spent inside. I’d walk home from the bus stop, put on my rain boots I kept on the porch and go straight to the creek that wrapped around our house. Time disappeared there. I’d walk for hours just playing with the rocks, looking for fish, and trying to find secret places in the woods. Then, something happened. I’m still remembering the details around this, but I placed a rock over the spring in my heart. Only a little would leak out if I let it. A part of me just wanted to be accepted. The part that felt embarrassed somehow and felt weird.  A part of me thought this would help. 

Life carried on. I grew up.  The rock remained. All along the way I have struggled with a lonely anxiety and an internal depression. I say internal because not many people knew. If they did, they didn’t ask me about it. I do not blame anyone. I never asked for help either. Maybe I’ll dive into that another time, but I felt lost, very lost. Even though I was surrounded by friends and family that I loved and who loved me, I still felt alone. I didn’t know where the path was. I was sure it must be miles away. I thought I missed it somewhere, and I might not ever find it. 

At some point while in college, somewhere in there between a relationship ending and a heartbreaking battle with my self image, I found myself at a river again. I was alone. It was quiet. I thought the rocks were beautiful, the sound of the water comforted me, and something about the light filtered through the trees intrigued me. I started to hear my thoughts a little bit clearer, a voice inside growing stronger. I didn’t notice at first, but I kept coming back. 

And nature kepting coming to me too. A hike here, a swim there, plans to camp and backpack, playing with flowers, learning the name of weeds in my yard. 


Then the Chattooga River called. 

An outdoor recreation class at school took me to her. We went rafting down her stunning corridor of wild existence. I wasn’t even bothered that the rest of the backpacking trip was rained out and we just spent the rest of the time hiking in her watershed. I still didn’t really notice the voice growing inside me though. 

I even took the same class again. We went rafting again. The backpacking part of our trip went awry again, so we hung out around the river… again. I started to hear this voice a little, but I wasn’t really listening.  

Months later my boyfriend, Will,  started guiding on the Chattooga. I’d drive up on the weekends. He’d take me rafting and we would hike our dogs to the river. I was falling in love with this guy and this place. Something about it felt so magical. It started to feel like I was welcome here, like I belonged here. 

It took a little while longer, but I decided to move, to call it how it felt and feels - home. Will, our dogs, these woods, and the river. The Chattooga called, but that call was coming from right inside this heart of mine the whole time.  This decision was probably the first time I really heard this voice in my heart. Heard and listened, without trying to quiet it or find another way around first. 


And so I’ve been here for over two years now, listening, listening, listening. I still struggle. I am still healing. I am still learning. I believe I always will be and have found how graceful of a teacher this river is, along with all the nature surrounding her. It has been a gradual journey, this adventure in connecting with nature. She has been kind, understanding, patient, and always, always encouraging. This relationship we’ve forged is one I cherish. It brings joyful tears to my eyes because I’m just that kind of emotional person. This relationship has been the one to really lead me towards deeper healing and deeper knowing of myself, of this world we live in, and of Spirit. It has been the one moving the rock away from the spring in my heart and showing me how to nurture it and let if flow. 

There is so much to share about this journey, and it’s really just beginning. Through River Eyes is a step along the way. I felt called to share my voice, my stories and the way I see the world. It is a beautiful place filled with beautiful beings, but we are hurt. I believe we are here to help heal the hurt. I believe true connection is a steadfast vessel for this.  I’ve found that a connection with nature fosters a true connection with other beings because all thrive from the same thing - love, awareness, grace and each other. 

I am discovering and exploring so many ways to embrace this connection and I want to share them with you. I want to encourage you to listen for the voice calling out to you and to let your voice out into the world. I hope feel your inner spring rising. I hope it overflows and starts carving riverbeds into your reality. I hope you’ll follow your flow and let it carry you to the connections that will bring healing and knowing. 

I believe in giving back to what gives to us, a life-giving cycle of reciprocity, so as part of this journey with Through River Eyes, I am creating art that will give back in some way. This Chattooga Land sticker is the first of many pieces to come. I will be donating 50% of the net-profits from this cardinal sticker to the Chattooga Conservancy, an organization that protects the Chattooga and her watershed, this river that has given me so much. Let’s spread some river love.