In the River is the Key

Every few days the river propels me down to its banks with a sense of urgency. I feel desperate if my schedule does not allow me to go down. For months I sat on a bench. Then for two more months I sat on the rocks with the water lapping at my toes. And now, I cannot wait to launch Grace!

My sojourn down to the banks of the river is reflective of a very interior journey.

Today I had the river to myself almost the whole time. I can literally be in the river in less than 20 minutes from the time I begin loading Grace into the car.

It was so much easier paddling today. I was more in the flow than not. I was relaxed and did not grip the paddle. I paddled upstream for about 30 minutes covering ground more quickly than I usually do.

I took in the beautiful sights and as I neared the tip of one of the first islands I pass upstream, I observed a blue heron perched on a log. What a magnificent and handsome creature he was! We looked at each other in silent respect for a while, and then he flew away.

I meditated for a while - then floated downstream during my meditation, so amazed to periodically note where I was and the position of Grace. At various junctures I faced every direction.

I thought of letting go and releasing to the flow of the river - letting the gentle currents determine where they would take me - and how it is so much easier when we do that - when we don't resist. And of course, how very much life is like that. Things are much easier when we don't resist them but instead accept them.

And then it reminded me of the quote by Shiva Rea at the end of all my emails:

"Don't push the river.
Let it flow."

I don't think I really understood what that meant until now. All year long I thought I knew what this quote was all about. But it really took getting inside the river - sensing her rhythms and merging with them to really know what it means to not push the river and let it flow...

I wrote recently to a friend about spending time in the river and I quoted Carly Simon's song where she says:

"In the river is the key."

I have come to see how my forays down to the river have been an important part of my spiritual journey. The river has been my soul companion. In the river I have found several keys. Each day I come down, another treasure is revealed. Another gift is given. I find another key...


Anonymous said…
I'm delighted to read about your new kayaking experiences as I catch up on your posts this morning...and I love the quote: "Don't push the river. Let it flow." It encapsulates much that I grapple with each work day :)

As always, thanks for sharing your insights and your words.


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