Archive for the ‘Loaded streams’ Tag

Braided Streams and Close Marriages

braided-stream-leone
Image made available by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

There is a particular type of stream described as braided due to its interesting flow pattern.  The water in each of the river’s sub-channels carries a high sediment load on a low incline.  As the stream’s velocity slows the water becomes overloaded with sediment – not having enough energy to carry the amount it could handle at the higher velocity.  The result is that the alluvial sediment gets deposited in the river bed to the degree that the water must eventually turn to flow where there is less obstruction – following the path of least resistance.  It happens again, over and over, as the water works its way downstream.   The sub-channels crisscross making a braided flow pattern.

I’ve always felt that this is a good analogy for a good, close marriage.  Each partner flows along independent of the other – but near.  They travel in the same general direction with the same goal (in the river’s case, base level which is sea level).  Each partner has some space but the other is accessed easily.  At certain times, they join and for a while become as one.  These might be times of joy, crises, working together, and physical /spiritual intimacy.

The image above shows an aerial view of a braided portion of the Leone River in Argentina carrying very fine, powdery glacial flour.

© Tonie A. Toney 2-3-2008

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