Feathers on the Breath of God

I go to the river, not once, but twice today...

I go to the river, because I am one with it, and I miss it...The river is my breath...It animates my soul...

I go to the river before crossing it further downstream to go to my yoga class, which is both joyous and playful. I will leave it exhilarated...

The river is still, and a flock of white birds seem as though they are meditating on the water - some of them glide here and there effortlessly and gracefully, in slow motion. There are so many of them - as I have never seen before - and most are floating on the water perfectly still - like monks - they populate this river - as far as the eyes can see all the way upstream...

I come back to the river in the late afternoon, and launch Grace. The river is still inhabited by these silent birds that soon fly away as I, and a couple of other kayakers invade their solitude...

For only the second time this year, I am in the river, and physically and organically, one with it...

I paddle upstream - exhilarated - and realize that in many ways, I have paddled my way out of depression this year, in these healing waters, baptized over and over again, with every spray of water that my paddle occasionally sends my way...

I have paddled my way out of deep emptiness, with the support of a very few friends who remained steadfast throughout all of my darkness - but I have also engaged in deep inner work, with the guidance of a gifted therapist and many healers as well...

But even in the midst of that emptiness - I experienced incredible abundance as I was gently reminded this afternoon and yesterday...

As I paddle, reflecting on the shifts I have experienced in the last month or so, I catch the sight of beautiful white feathers all strewn about, released by the meditating birds...

I decide I want one, and nearly knock myself over trying to retrieve them. Finally, I give up trying too hard, and catch three...

I think of Hildegard of Bingen, who first used this description of being - "a feather on the breath of God..."

These feathers were truly carried by the breath of God in the form of this river - and deposited on the surface of the water - where they simply float - delighting in their lightness of being...

I carefully place the feathers in my pocket, in the waning sun, and paddle back, delighting in my own emerging, lightness of being...

"Let the waters settle
You will see stars and moon
mirrored in your Being."
- Rumi

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