Wisconsin River Sand Bars

Lake Wisconsin Sand Bars, Driftless Area, Southwest Wisconsin

Wisconsin River Sand Bars © 2012 Bo Mackison

When you put your hand in a flowing stream, you touch the last that has gone before and
the first of what is still to come.”  Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo has a way with words. And I love the visual that comes to me when I read his words. “Put your hand in a flowing stream.” It needs to be a river or a stream, even a creek if there’s been rain. An ocean won’t do. Nor a sea. It needs to be a fast-moving stream, flowing past, the current pushing your hand in the direction of the flow.

Have you ever hung out with a river, maybe sprawled on a boat dock that sticks its edge into the river’s middle, sprawled on your belly, head cradled in one arm, your other arm stretching out, stretching down into the flowing river. Even in a the hot summer, even in the middle of a record-breaking heat scorcher, the river water still runs cool.

Just the thought of submerging my arm into the river makes me feel cooler.

As for the quote, I love this way of saying “stay in the present.” Once the moment has passed, it has passed. And you can’t rush the future – the flowing water will reach you at the very moment of the present, whether you want it to hurry up or slow down.

Hmm, two thoughts to consider from a single quote. Leonardo was one versatile guy!


The river scene was photographed a few miles before we crossed the Wisconsin River on the bridge at Blue River, Wisconsin when we were on our way to the Mississippi River. I never knew there was a Blue River, Wisconsin. Even sounds like the place to test “your hand in the flowing stream!”

Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is rambling on a bit, just like the rambling river waters…oh, she wants to know if you spotted all the teeny birds on the telephone wires in the photo. They are hard to see in this tiny size, but their antics are amusing and clear in the bigger photographs.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Gandalf says:

    Most excellent commentary and I love the river scene.

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