Contemplating the River

You can’t push the river, a teacher once told me.

So true.

I’ve had a lifetime of trying to outrun the river, and consequently, the shattered pieces  of my efforts litter life’s banks.

With illness, I have come to appreciate that it is not about flowing with the river, or keeping up, but being open.  The river brings to us and she takes away.  We are witness, beneficiary, and a voice.  We neither own her bounty, nor hold her power.

Life is the river.  It brings opportunity; we partake or not; it moves on.

When I haven’t been trying to outrun it, I’ve built walls against its offerings. Take writing, for example.  Invitations to submit or contest offerings happen, and I step back, declare myself unready.  Deadlines pass.

Recently, I decided to submit.  My piece was accepted.  I submitted three more.  One was accepted.  I entered a contest.  I won.  None of this makes me famous, but I am participating.

I stand now at the river’s edge with heart and mind open.

Where are you in the flow?

(V.J.’s challenge for this week is the river.  Would love to hear from you.  Check out the creative and thought-provoking contributions to date.)


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

10 thoughts on “Contemplating the River

  1. This is a wonderful metaphor for life. There are areas of my life that I am definitely open to the flow, but mostly I’m on the river’s edge talking myself out of the flow. This is a timely reflection for me. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

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