Respecting the River

Early this morning before going off to teach, I stopped off at the river. Because of all the rains, the rocks I normally sit on were totally submerged. On the other hand, the river was as still, and calm, and wide as I had seen it. When I first got there, it was misty and foggy on the other side, but then it gradually lifted. The water was like a plate of glass and I longed to get inside of it.

I did finally get into the river around 2:30 PM for about an hour. When I first got there, I heard a man instructing a couple of other guys in Spanish on how to use jet skies. But what impressed me was how he tried to convey a respect for the river. He emphasized a few times, how a lack of respect, particularly when using jet skies, could lead to a lethal situation.

He also noted how important it is to note the conditions of the river - something I try to gauge before going into the water myself. Knowing one's limitations and strengths are very important. And of course, playing it safe is also wise and prudent.

These are lessons that are important, not only in the water, but in life itself.

I paddled up to my favorite spot in the river - where it forks past an island I like to explore. Before meditating briefly, I thought of the fork as symbolic of the different paths we take in life. Lately, as I reflect on the many changes and decisions I have made, I find myself second guessing myself - wondering if the decisions and choices were the right ones. Of course, only time can truly answer that. But as I looked at both side of the river along the island I have partially explored - I asked myself once more which path should I take.

Finally, I just surrendered and thought and prayed to myself: "Your will be done - not mine. Show me the way. Show me the way..."

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