Rivers have the strength and endurance to handle extraordinary circumstances.
A river's splendor or simplicity is in its ability to flow quickly and slowly depending on the landscape, the season, or the weather.
Walt and I have spent much time on the water the last few years. We have fun and memorable family adventures boating, kayaking, rafting, and tubing. Henry enjoyed fly-fishing the Eagle and Arkansas Rivers in Colorado last spring. Nick has logged countless nautical miles on the Chesapeake Bay. Annie frequents quiet moments along the Potomac to watch the amazing sunsets or connect with girlfriends along the Old Town waterfront. I’ve seen the majesty of The Colorado, and The Rio Grande rivers at the Grand Canyon, in Moab and Arches, Utah. I can’t forget the length of the mighty Mississippi, The Virgin River in Zion, and The Yellowstone in Wyoming. I’ve seen the powerful Snake and Columbia Rivers, just like Lewis and Clark.
Weekly, if not daily I make a point to see the Potomac River near our home. I am entranced and captivated by the relationship of a river in terms of feelings, sensations, and emotions. Riding on or watching a river can be invigorating, and exciting but it can also feel dangerous, and distressing.
When I’m able to see a long stretch I feel so “free” and open to adventure. What’s around the bend?? Bringing on emotions of happiness, surprise, and relaxation. Reminding me that rivers can be so fun!
Rivers are like the flow of our breath. When we are in flow, we connect to our life force — we feel vibrant, alert, unbuoyed, appreciated, and grateful. The flow of a river, stream, or inlet has a similar feeling to walking on the right path. It’s easy to contemplate new possibilities and to gain insight, inner peace embodies you, and awe & wonder fill you with love…
Nature truly awakens possibility in us. We have to keep our sense of flow from being blocked. When the flow becomes restricted, stressed, or turbulent we feel we’re on the wrong path. Our flow can also feel chaotic or unpredictable, and hard to manage. You could call it being ADRIFT: floating at random; not anchored.
We all need help navigating the rough waters of our lives. Storms and floods will come, but they will not destroy us. Rivers persevere, despite the challenges they face on their journey (boulders, fallen trees, log and ice jams, toxic debris, and sometimes droughts). Whether life feels like a wide open gulf or a nearly dry creek bed we can help ourselves with what might be impeding us “up or downstream”.
Sometimes we need to “dam” the river — slowing it down significantly. If you’ve been reading my posts you can probably sense that time to walk, paint, go boating, and contemplate helps me find my flow. How you find your flow may be very different from mine.
Rivers evolve because of wind, rain, and erosion — perhaps we also have to evolve. We might need a little more time meandering in shallow waters or on the river bank before we can head back into fast-moving currents or deeper depths. It’s hard not to control our circumstances but it’s sometimes important to surrender to whatever will come next.
I am trying to give myself some grace because nothing can stop or should stop the river from flowing. Rivers represent a never-ending flow, a source of continuous nourishment, healing, and hope. What rivers have you crossed? You too have the strength, resilience, and God-willing — curiosity to see what is just around the bend.
Thank you for the hope that comes,
when I gaze across the water.
May the glimmer and sparkle of light
feed my soul;
Its quiet current of sacredness
runs deep within me.
Peace I wish you.
- a limit or boundary;
- a goal or destination (= the place where someone is going);
- a large stream or small river