The River of Life
I’ve always loved the awesome majesty of mountains. They are, however, the byproduct of the rivers that formed them: flowing, adjusting, carving, crashing and gently nurturing the land and animals along the way. The river carves its way through, and the mountains answer as towers of strength. Like the river, our lives are forever moving and changing, shaping us as the water shapes the land it flows through.
The water’s FLOW shapes the river, shapes the land, and defines the river’s size along its path. The water reacts to obstacles in its way. It creates pools, channels, and gorges. It also determines the habitat and landscape that surrounds it, the food sources within it, and the animal and plant life that can survive in it. The animals and plants depend on it for life itself. In the same way, we flow and adjust, change and contribute along the path of life.
There is an unseen force driving the flow: THE UNDERCURRENT. The undercurrent can be strong and drive the flow quickly. Like the river, we have a hidden force that drives us. The spirit that drives us can be strong and vibrant; sometimes beautiful, sometimes murky, and sometimes unknown.
The RAPIDS result from obstacles beneath the surface. We experience turbulence when unexpected changes/obstacles affect us. At times staying afloat seems like an insurmountable task. We struggle to adapt to the rapids in our life and find that the turbulence becomes part of our life’s flow.
WATERFALLS are strong, powerful, one of nature’s greatest hazards and most beautiful phenomena. For us, the waterfalls of life interrupt our normal flow with great force and strength. Major life changes throw us into emotional falls, and feelings that are strong, intense and powerful. The waterfall is unpredictable and frightening because we lose control. If we ride the waterfall, we can savor the feeling that awaits us when we arrive at the gentle swirling pools at the bottom.
WHIRLPOOLS form when the rushing water hits an obstruction. The water turns around and around, in a swirling motion…. Spinning and out of control. In our lives, the whirlpools churn us around, suck us in and spit us out. The secret to surviving the whirlpools is to relax, let go, and realize we are not in control of many things. Even though we think we will sink at the time and never be able to come up for air, we will eventually pop up, just as a leaf that is sucked into the whirlpool will pop up.
Reaching the calm POOLS is the reward. For us, the pools bring those moments of calm and reflection. This is the place for learning and recuperation…. taking a deep breath…. And then moving on.
At the EDDIES, the water actually turns around and flows upstream along the bank, and then turns around to join the downstream flow. For us, the eddy is the place for reflection; Looking at what is past, learning from it, and moving on.
In the end, the river, which is now bulging with life, energy, and fullness, joins the sea, contributing all it has gathered along the way. Just like us: we flow, adjust, grow, and bring what we have to something bigger.
Copyright © Soaring 2004 by Cheryl Perlitz
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