Back Into the River

This week, for the first time in almost three years, I went back into the river...

Yes, this same river that for several years, beginning in '08, first invited me in, and then beckoned... And so, I obediently responded to its calling, bought a kayak, and without any experience, launched myself off from the shore into a Great Unknown, relinquishing all control over where it would take me - both inwardly and outwardly...

For the next few years, in stillness and silence, the River taught me all I needed to know. It yielded up its secrets, as I was companioned by blue herons and the bass fish that occasionally jumped out of the water to give me the once over...

I forded into the waters and mists in the fog, performed penitential rituals during the High Holy Days, and chanted mantras in various sacred languages, over and over again. And in my ear the River whispered over and over again - "Let it go. Do not fight the current. Just flow"... and many more such sayings.

I paddled upstream, sometimes laboriously, repeating the Magnificat in Latin, during one cold Advent - and floated downstream on a sunny and warm summer morning...

So many insights were granted...

But then, three years ago, I needed to replace my vehicle, and no longer had a truck to haul Grace, my kayak down to the river...

A month ago, I decided to buy an inflatable kayak and so I did. And on Monday, the first truly warm and sunny day of the last couple of months, I launched back into the water. On this day, my husband started a new job, and I - teaching a new yoga session. So it was fitting that I paddle into the river once more, in search of new and great spiritual adventures!

It will take some getting used to kayaking again. It takes time to inflate the kayak, and it has a different feel as well - but I am grateful just to have the opportunity to commune with the river once again...

I am rusty, and a little hesitant in the water - I will have to regain some of that confidence I had paddling in a more solid boat - and yet my spirit now is lighter and has transcended so much of the sorrow and grief that first propelled me into the water, so in a way, my new vessel is a metaphor for this current phase of my life!

Yes, it seems fitting indeed, that on a day of so many firsts - and on a day which was also the day after Easter and the Resurrection - I should resurrect the practice of something I have loved and which fed my spirit for so long!

Comments

kayakgal said…
Wonderful Olga. I am so happy you are floating again.
Olga Rasmussen said…
Thank you so much! The time was much too long and I have missed it!
Wonderful! I admire your courage! I just got back into my kayak on the lake yesterday for the first time this season; and yes, there is that sort of awkward getting reacquainted phase...it was quite breezy and the kayak seemed to have control over me...but I let myself just flow and eventually ended up where I wanted to go. Amazing how much introspection it invites, huh? Miss ya!
Veronica
Olga Rasmussen said…
Gracias Veronica!

Miss you too! We'll have to go together some time!

I feel the river still has its lessons to teach - albeit new ones. I sort of didn't quite go with the flow - but I know I need to! And yes, so much introspection it does invite and truths that it reveals!

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