The river

     Today I set out on my bike after resolving some things which needed attention. I  opted for the more physically demanding route instead of the furthest, knowing then I'd reward myself with a long overdue mediation in my favorite spot at the river. I hit every incline I could find, most of them gradual, steady, and long. I was sweating in no time, but not discouraged as I knew the river was waiting. Solitude, tranquility and understanding awaited me. It's been almost a year since I was in "my spot," tucked in the woods on the riverbank, where I rest, on a very old fallen oak tree.
       When I got there, all sweaty and hot, breathing like I was out of shape, mother nature's handy work foiled my plan. My shoulders dropped. "Are you kidding me," I asked the universe.  My "secret spot" was no longer there, instead there was water weaving, swirling in, around and through the trees with such force I could hear it, before I saw it. Disappointed, I got back.on my bike and headed home, quickly reflecting on how the water represents life in so many ways, sometimes flowing softly and methodically in a predictable pattern then fierce and raging, at times out of control while it forces its way through, breaking new ground, changing the formation of the earth and washing away anything not anchored. Change.  Then I thought about the fish inevitably hanging out under my once mighty oak tree. I envied them for a bit. Can you imagine being in envy of a fish? Yeah, me neither, so I laughed at my silliness and remembered just because my "plan" didn't work out, didn't mean I was going to have to go home either! This was now my personal challenge, to get to the river where I could sit. I will not be discouraged, I will not turn away, I will simply find a different way. Just as the river does...this is life.
     I biked further and higher along the river and settled in on a different spot. Beautiful, however not nearly as tranquil or as comfortable, but I made it and there wasn't another person in site, up the river or down. I sat on some old cement slabs resting almost vertically on the riverbank now because the ground where they were once poured, had washed away. I put my feet in the cool water and watched in awe at the fortitude of the river. Even as a person who considers herself a swimmer, I feared falling in, knowing I'd be no match for the swiftly moving current. As I gazed at the water swirling around me some fish came up to greet me, a bass and some carp. Probably less of a greeting and more what the hell are you doing here, but that kind of freaked me out (thank you River Monsters), so I backed up a little to give them some space..they seemed to adjust quite merrily to their newer home up on the banks as they darted in and out of their new found hiding places. I sat quietly and watched the river mesmerized by the sounds of the water as it ebbed and flowed. Which I found so remarkable. As I sat there the water went up and down, rushing in urgently creating louder and bigger sounds of flow and then receded along the fallen trees, soil and grass quietly leaving high water marks on the rock and driftwood. I always think of the river running steady, no matter what height (or speed) it's at, but it isn't necessarily true. I was so fascinated by this. Nature is a wondrous thing!
A young farmer came by with his tractor and walked up to the river just above where I sat. 
     "Wow, the river is high. I thought there would be people fishing down here, but I see the water is too high for that." he said.
     "Really, you don't think you'd catch any...even under those fallen trees?"
     "No, you won't even see em until the water goes down...Well, have a nice day!"
I turned and looked at my feet dangling in the water and a plump bullhead darted by. "He might not see you, but I do..."
     Life is all about perception, his, mine, yours. Our reality is based off of what we think we know about situations, people, religions, politics, faith, love, dying, plug-in-any-word-you-want, but what we know, isn't always reality.
     Nature is the truest representation of life. It's fluid. Never stopping the process of growth, death and renewing. It's beautiful beyond measure, dangerous, seductive and full of wrath too. Just like the river, just like life.


  1. A great bike ride, thoughts of nature versus nature, great reminder of change, & moment within yourself. It sounds like a great moment well worthy sharing. What a wonderful day & experience.

    1. Thank you Don. It was a beautiful day in every sense of the word!


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