Yesterday I walked along a river and noting all the different ways the river flowed. From its source to the natural end, it goes through many different incarnations. There are calm pools, there are rapids, there are easily flowing streams, there are waterfalls, it widens, it narrows. Sometimes it is a trickle and sometimes a flood. There are twists and turns, over rocks, under branches. So many times life has been likened to a river, I am remembering that now.
Could we not look at the above paragraph and substitute life for river? From the beginning of our lives we cannot see where it is going to take us. And though we have conscious thought, choice and control within our lives we cannot always see how we got to where we are. Life will respond to our unspoken words, our true beliefs and the thoughts we fill our minds with. So even when I say, well this is not what I wanted, is it not what I believed I could have? Of course it is. My thoughts, my desires, my belief in what I truly can accept is what makes up the river of my life.
I think I have to have all the parts of the river to be whole. I need the rapids. The rapids make me strong. I can look back and say I survived that. I survived that loss, that divorce, that growth, that disappointment. I build emotional muscle when I run the rapids. And the waterfalls, they build my faith. When I am falling with no idea how this will end, I step into faith. And trust. Let go and let God, or let Life, however you look it. These are the waterfalls of my life. This is when I stand up and know whatever happens I can survive. The rapids have made strong and faith takes me though it.
At times the river is narrow and twisty. I can only see a small piece of my world. Perhaps I am focused on one area. Usually there are rocks underneath and branches above. At those times my world feels shrunken and tight. I have to work hard to move through it. Maybe there are dangers, things I need to raise my attention to. These are the times I step carefully, working my way to smoother waters.
At times in narrowness the river dries. Never completely empty, but pooled and stagnant. These times are dark. In those moments of life, it is easy to get stuck. It is muddy and I get bogged down. I feel the stillness instead of movement. In those times I learn what I really want and need in my life. And I call to it, I reach out. This stretch of the river teaches me patience and strengthens my faith. To know I will make it out of the muck, to know there is movement beyond this moment, this time. Life always returns, and me with it.
There are pools in the river, places to rest. These times give me peace, and serenity. To know that I will be back in the river, but for this moment, I get to rest. I get to be still. I get to stop look around and make a choice. For me this is a time of reflection, a deepening. Even though the movement of the river takes me forward, the pool gives me a moment to breathe and reflect. I need that in my life to keep my direction.
The tinkling brook, the sounds of the water flowing freely over the rocks. There is joy, there is ease. It is a busy time, with much movement in my life. I think this part of my life is one of my favorite times. I feel alive, engaged, happy. Yes there is work, but in the way that frees me to move forward. The river sparkles with light, and I sparkle with life.
Sometimes the river is wide and calm and peaceful. I move from the busy brook to wide river knowing my soul needs rest. I feel full during these times. I am reaping my harvest from the busy times. I am moving forward, but a pace that affords me rest. These times fill me with expansiveness and love. I feel the breadth of my life. I see my rewards, I feel my peace. My soul cries out for these times. To rest, rejuvenate, and gather myself for the next piece of the river.
Because I need all of the pieces of the river. Just as the river is not whole without each facet, neither am I. I am a sparkly brook, a wide peaceful stream. I am also a waterfall, a rapid and a pool. All of this makes up the fabric of my life. Each pieces teaches something about myself. Each piece brings its own gift. Each piece makes me whole. And wholeness, well that is Life. So I am going to love each and every moment of the river. I am going to love the rapids, the falls, the mud, just as much as I love the sparkling brook, the deep pools and the wideness of my life. It is all me, this river of my life. A crazy, twisted, calm, wide, narrow, sparkling ride. I wish you safe journey down your river, see you at the end.
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