Rivers flow—it’s what they do. Arguably, that’s what they’re best at. There are spots along the river where the flowing comes to an almost deafening stillness, as the river widens and deepens. Other times, it becomes shallow, forming riffles over the river stones. Upstream, there are roaring rapids and even a waterfall.This time of year, the river warms and shallows, allowing for the river-lovers to slowly drift by—most notably the rafting humans. This brings out the child in everyone, from the frolicking rafters to the petulant child in me that sometimes roots for the occasional raft to magically deflate as it’s rowdy crew passes by!
This time of year, the river warms and shallows, allowing for the river-lovers to slowly drift by—most notably the rafting humans. This brings out the child in everyone, from the frolicking rafters to the petulant child in me that sometimes roots for the occasional raft to magically deflate as it’s rowdy crew passes by!
There are other river-lovers as well. The wood ducklings are nearly grown up now. Their behavior is only way you can tell who is a parent and who is a duckling—namely who seems to be herding whom. One of their favorite activities seems to be swimming. They love to plunge underneath the water as a group, then will pop up randomly as they swim from one bank to the other. Unlike the rowdy tubers, the urge to ruin the wood ducks’ day never crosses even my petulant mind. Their quiet gestures and the occasional low quacking sounds are just about the best thing about sitting riverside!
That’s the thing about the river. It keeps flowing by whether we like it or not. It brings placid, tranquil times as well as roaring, scary, overwhelming, churning rapids. It brings the most endearing pleasant beings that quack their way right into my heart…and also caravans of rowdy tubers with empty beer cans trailing in their wake. It’s not good or bad; it just is. If I tried to stop the flow, I would fail. I’d just struggle, wasting all my energy, and still would have to face whatever unpleasantness is floating past.
Instead, today I sit here breathing, accepting what comes along the ever-changing stream. Not getting caught up in the story of my judging mind, not trying to change or ignore what comes along, but opening up my mind to experience the sounds, the sites, the sense of oneness with the river—and yes, even with those pesky humans floating by. Knowing that whatever experience comes along—however pleasant or unpleasant, short or seemingly endless—is just passing by. And in this way, I rest on the riverbank. In this way, I find the energy of this place that was here all along.