The River in Summer Stillness

Today was a day I had to myself, and after sleeping in for a bit, I made my way down to the banks of the river...

It was warm and breezy this morning, and I immediately noted that the hydrilla has grown quite a bit in the last week - masses of these underwater grasses have overtaken parts of the river - staking a prominent claim to various spots.

The river I have encountered this summer is much more different from the one I entered for the first time about a year ago. Truly, the river has taught me a lot about impermanence and what it means. This river is different - but then - so am I. I am not the person I was a year ago either...

I paddled about for an hour, simply enjoying the river, and observing the activity of the bass. A whole lot of them were happily flipping about - some jumping around quite close to me - but I was never able to actually see one. The river has been pretty murky all spring and summer and quite opaque so that it is much harder to see below the surface.

Nobody was out on the river most of the time I was there. I saw some folks fishing at a distance, and noted a couple of kayakers who were getting ready to launch when I paddled back to the launch area.

My thoughts did not focus on anything in particular today, and at some point I was struck by the fact that for the first time - the river had no urgent message or lesson to impart. It seems to me that our relationship has also changed. I am no longer its apprentice - I no longer have crucial insights to grasp and internalize. Instead, the river has become my companion of sorts - we are almost on equal footing. The river and I fully enjoyed the present moment together - without a sense of time passing or anything major pending...

I have noted before, that this river has been a silent witness to my own interior journey and healing. I have turned many corners in the last year and recent months and I am forever grateful to have the time to come to this river just about whenever I want...

Truly, the river has spoken - throughout the course of nearly two years - but the dialogue has changed considerably. There no longer seems to be the need for major lessons to be learned. Instead, it is now simply a time for stillness. It is a time to sit quietly in the silence and to just expand, go with the flow - and step into the next great adventure of my life...

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