The River on Holiday

The river on holiday is a very different place from the one I normally experience. There are people on motor boats, jet skies, and those who simply park their boats and sit - blaring music to their heart's content! The river is both crowded and noisy! I look forward to Tuesday - the day after Labor Day when the river will be so much more quiet and introspective.

I managed to get my husband into the river for the first time today. He was not as gentle and careful with Grace as I am. But then, to him she is only a boat. To me - she is so much more. She is a source of peace and of deep connection to the river. She is a contemplative at heart...

The grasses had grown to such an extent this past week that there was only one stretch I found in the water more or less devoid of them. But because of the recent rains, the river was definitely higher.

There were a number of kayakers on the water today - we passed each other or waved to each other now and then, as if there is some unwritten code of respect. Even though I am a novice at best - I still feel welcomed into this distinct group of people.

I thought of how we sometimes make forays into various groups at various junctures of our lives. For example, in my late teens and twenties when I was a liturgical musician and a photographer, I hung around with these very different crowds of eccentric and artistic people. But at some point I drifted away from those relationships and sought out very different friends.

This week I reflected on how sometimes we unexpectedly receive an invitation to be part of a group we might not consider ourselves worthy of belonging to - while I was on conference call with some of the best yoga teachers in the country. I wondered what I was doing in this group and whether I really had much of substance to contribute - but a friend and colleague reassured me that I had earned this recognition through hard work and dedication.

Even though life circumstances - work and interests - supply the reasons for our membership in various groups - it is important to remember we are not better or worse than those who are not part of those groups. We are all one here on this planet - stewards of the same resources. The river is no more mine than it is anyone else's. Today I shared it with the crowd that is only able to enjoy it on holidays and on weekends.

I am blessed, that I can enjoy the river at times when others can't - and when she is more willing to yield her secrets...


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