Water Trust Writing Contest: Renewal

Renewal, by Samuel Lewis, won third place in the 2024 Water Trust Writing Contest.


Samuel Lewis

I drift through the sky, ground slowly approaches and only one thought runs through my mind, “What will this cycle have in store for me?”

I fall among the pillowy embrace of my fellow snowflakes. I take in the densely forested Aspens as the hum of a ski lift drones in the distance. I enjoy the warmth of the sun on my crystalline features. This respite is short lived as skis slice across my surface plunging me into darkness.

I wake to movement. We are flowing. Excitement builds as the sounds of roaring rapids approach. Within the next moment I plunge into frigid waters of a rushing river as months of darkness have been replaced by the mottled hues of algae strewn boulders. I flow downstream over the rocky bottom passing cylindrical caddis cases and the legs of a wader clad fisherman. In the next moment I hurtle over the ledge of a waterfall and crash into the deep pool below continuing my journey downstream.

I am plunged into darkness once more, piped to the faucet of an in-need Coloradan. In an instant I am bathed in incandescent light and washing clean a pair of sudsy hands before returning to the steely expanse of the wastewater superhighway.

I rejoin the languid river, escaping the honking horns of the interstate in the cool silent depths. Soon I follow a ditch leading me towards new growth. I rush onto the sun-baked soil of a corn field and am drunken into the earth before emerging back into the river. A deer cools off in my midst and I soak into its coat.

As I travel away from the river wetness leaves the deer’s coat. I too will soon travel upwards, and I wonder, “What the next cycle has in store for me”.

About the author: Samuel is pursuing a PhD degree in fisheries, wildlife, and conservation biology, generating interdisciplinary research that blends fisheries management and human dimension research on water issues of the Arid West. He currently lives in the Broomfield area and enjoys spending his free time along the banks of the South Platte River.