The River's Gift of Grace, Blossoms and Insights

So many activities and tasks needing my attention during this day, but I rebel, and despite the cold and damp weather and coming rain, I make my way down to the river with Grace, my kayak, in tow...

No one is at at the park - no one is even fishing today. I revel in the realization that I have the river all to myself, and when I arrive, the water is mostly still, and the colors on the other side of the river gently beckon...

I push off, and paddle towards the river banks on the other side, where I rarely go. I disturb a blue heron as I approach the shore, and he flies off, but not before expressing some irritation...

It is breathtaking on this side - quiet - except for the hum of insects, all joining seamlessly in their sacred mantra. I am drawn to the deep reds and burgundies and hints of vermillion that have been largely absent this year, along the river. Ash and birch trees seem to predominate around this area...

I start to feel the cold as the wind begins to pick up and stir the waters, so that now the surface is covered with infinite waves...I slowly paddle over to an island south of the launch area, that captivated me when I first came to this river nearly two years ago. I looked longingly for so long, wondering what lay on the side that was hidden from me. It was nearly a year before I felt drawn and invited into the river to find out...

I paddle and reflect on the many insights that have come to me in the last day or so, some in meditation, others spontaneously. I also dwell gratefully upon the blessings received throughout the course of this week.

I take a moment, and give thanks for my yoga teacher, whose 65th birthday was yesterday. After doing 65 salutations, and inviting us to say yes to life - she led us through a delicious class of backbends, and dancing, and unbridled joy!

I review in my mind, the many beautiful and breathtaking photographs of yoginis and yogis that were shared with me by a gifted artist and exquisite soul who asked me to collaborate on a wonderful project. Each picture - is a meditation - and as I felt deeply drawn to meditate upon a handful of them late last night, I was struck by their stunning beauty and the sacredness they evoked. They invited me to explore places within me - realms I only visit in states of deep soul communion with the Divine, so delicious and tinged with bliss. I found myself moved to pair a few of these exquisite images with verses from Rumi, and today on this river, other verses from poems and inspirational words spoken by my yoga teachers arose in my heart as I meditated more deeply on some of the haunting and evocative images...

I thanked God for all of my sacred insights and for a comfort that warmed my soul, but I decided it was time to make it back to the boat launch - the wind was starting to cut through me. Here, on this river, it smelled of winter, and of dying and rising...

I paddled back, and no sooner had I hoisted Grace into the back of my truck, the promised rain came. Once again, my heart expressed gratitude. I made it back at precisely the right moment!

I end with two of my favorite quotes that I was drawn to link to images seared into my mind and soul while I floated on the river:

"Hear blessings
dropping their blossoms
all around you."
~ Rumi

"If the only prayer you say is thank you,
it will be enough."
~ Meister Eckhart

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