The River, Me, and God

For the second day in a row, I have been able to make it down to the river. Both days have been warm, though today was nothing short of magnificent. For the first time since last year, I launched Grace, unencumbered by winter gear, sporting instead some short sleeves and my crocs! I stepped into the water, getting my feet wet, baptizing myself into a new season of paddling...

Both days have been cloudless days where I have enjoyed the river and had it pretty much to myself. And the blue heron was particularly evident today.

The currents definitely made their presence known. It took a while to paddle upstream, but it was exhilarating to be doing it.

I paddled near the first island, enjoying the vistas and evidences of spring, determined to angle around the bend. As I worked hard to get myself upstream, a magnificent blue heron flew along my right side without making a sound. He startled me, coming fairly close to where I was. Then, he flew on ahead and and angled off to the right.

Just a few moments later, he came around and did the same thing. I counted a total of 5 times that he did this - flying alongside me, and then taking off to the right - and thought to myself, there must be a message for me in this...

Finally, when I was approaching the corner of the island, I found him waiting for me, perched on the edge of the riverbank. He did not move, at least until I navigated the currents between the two islands where I often like to meditate, and made my way onto the other side...

I thought to myself, that I was supposed to overcome this hurdle today - that somehow there was a message for me in this achievement of paddling upstream and the resisting currents between the islands. Truly, nothing is impossible with God's Presence or assistance.

I floated down quietly, and fairly quickly on the other side, as I listened to birds singing and bass flapping here and there - under the banner of leaves starting to unfurl in all their splendor. I took in every detail, savoring each moment...

I thought of how happy I am on this river - no matter what is happening - it brings me both peace and joy - more so than any other activity. I cannot imagine being on this river and not feeling vibrantly alive...

The river allows me to ground and connect with God's creation. I also reflected on how little time I have spent outdoors in the last few years...

I emerged after an hour and half of enjoying each present moment that gave way to the next, truly re-charged and very much aware that all shall be well...

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