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What the river taught me

March 18, 2010

(not the river I stood by this morning, but another river I've learned from)

This morning I went to see the river. I’d barely left the house all week and needed to sit with Mother Nature for awhile. Water calls me. Always.

This time it wasn’t the mighty Red River that flows close to my house. It was the smaller Seine a little further away.

A week ago it was frozen. Today it was surging with Spring thaw. I stood on a small man-made water weir, mesmorized by the churning water a few feet below me.

The nature of a river can be boiled down to one word. Flow. If it didn’t flow, it wouldn’t be a river. To fulfill its purpose – its calling – it must flow. At all costs. It might sit frozen for a few months (just like the cocoon in yesterday’s post), but when the Spring comes, it returns to the only thing it knows – flowing.

The water weir presents a challenge for the otherwise sleepy little river. How will it get past this barrier? By rising, that’s how. By building up enough volume and strength to flow over top of the wall in front of it.

If the river ceased to follow its very nature and let the obstacles win, it would become a stagnant pond, no longer able to sustain life. Or it would flood the farmland and wreak havoc with the life forces around it that depend on its reliability.

“What about me?” I thought. “How do I respond when the Spring thaw calls me to come out of hibernation and bring forth life? And what do I do when obstacles get in the way? Obstacles like fear, uncertainty, or criticism? Do I cease to follow the path I feel called to? Do I stagnate and forget how to sustain life? Do I flood the land with negative energy and disappoint the people whom I’m called to help? Or do I gather my strength and rise even higher than I was before?”

Just before I walked back to my car, I heard the river whisper “Flow, baby, flow.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2010 5:16 am

    You could nickname yourself Flo, or Flo Baby (like what the river said). I’m trying hard, eh?

  2. March 19, 2010 6:30 pm

    Ok, this is freakishly apropos! I am grinning from ear to ear – thank you for this…and lol – you had me from”Water calls me. Always.” Me, too!!

  3. March 19, 2010 7:31 pm

    Hi Heather,

    Got here through Karen’s tweet…and glad I clicked through!! 🙂 Great post. Nature has incredible wisdom when we tune in.


  4. March 20, 2010 7:05 am

    aaaaargh! So true, so well said. So applicable.

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