A River Denuded

On this eve of ending one year of my life, and beginning another, I go down to the river and for the first time wear my boots and gloves and have to loosen the straps on my PFD (Personal Flotation Device) to make room for my jacket and heavier shirt.

It is cold and overcast, and the trees and the broad expanse before me are literally naked...There is nothing and no where to hide...

I come here, because it is supposed to rain tomorrow and I will not be able to go inside...

The river is breathtakingly beautiful - denuded...empty - and yet so full...

I paddle up to the end of the first island, meditate and float downstream for a while and revel in the absolute silence...

The river and I - we are both empty - and yet richly textured in our fullness as well. There are so many yet undiscovered layers to us...

I think of so many things - and also recall the transition of a grandmother who left this earth on my 45th birthday...

I am still amazed I am on this river, and I spontaneously recall how I almost drowned in a river once as child, as I was sucked into a whirlpool. I tried to fight it, and it pulled me in more deeply. One brave soul dove in and pulled me out. I have always respected water since then, and had nearly forgotten this memory...

I marvel at all the messages I receive from people I would never have imagined, including a beautiful email from someone in cyberspace who stumbles on my web site and shares the insights and inspirations he gleans. An obviously gifted intuitive, he notes the impact of this site on many. I respond that my site and blog are indeed a labor of love...

My body aches from my yoga class last night and I consider what ritual I will do tomorrow, on a day which is also the full moon and which invites sacred releasing...

I reflect on the theme of my lessons this week:

"Let go of holding on and hold on to letting go..."

It is a sacred mantra which I repeat in many permutations as I invite my students to let go of all that does not serve them. I lead them through twisting poses of many varieties - standing, sitting, and supine - instructing them to deepen and detox - and to purify and create more space within to usher in the new. Indeed, it is a cleansing of the body temple which houses the spirit.

I paddle at times without effort and give gratitude for the support and love received from a life partner who reminded me, in the words of my favorite 14th century English Mystic, Julian of Norwich, that:

"All shall be well.
And all shall be well...
And all manner of things shall be well..."

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