Lessons from the River
This week I went to the Skeena River every day to cool off. I am amazed at how few people I saw there - even in this thirty five degree Celsius heat wave. It’s normally nice and cool by the river but with the heat wave this week it feels almost tropical. I found a sandy knoll under a couple of Cottonwood trees by the river and spent the afternoon there.
I sat down in the river and felt the cool, gentle rapids wash over me.
    I entered into the calming sounds of the river,
                                           felt the warm summer breeze,
                                                                sand under my feet,
                                                                                 and sun’s radiant warmth on my skin.
From high above, I heard a chirping sound and when I looked up I saw what looked like a raptor of some sort - perhaps a Hawk  - soaring with such magnificence and grace. I wonder what he/she is communicating? She/he sounded like a sea gull’s scream. I’ve seen a raptor down here every day this week and each new day I wonder if I will see her/him catch a salmon from the river.
And then... the raptor dove down, not once, but twice into the river - only a short distance in front of me. The raptor flew with such grace, precision and agility…but no fish this time! If I were a fisher-person I would watch the raptors. They seem to be here everyday around this time to hunt.
I was thinking if I was to fall into the river how much easier it would be if I didn’t try to swim against the current.
What if I…
 let the river guide me to where it wanted me to go
enjoy the mystery of where it takes me
        surrender to the current
            trust that whatever happens along the way
                        all will be well.
I think this is a good analogy for how I aspire and feel inspired to live my life - to let go of control and fear that deplete me of life energy and learn to continuously turn my life over to ‘the universe’ - the stream of life - to be my guide. Then I can enjoy the wonders, surprises, mysteries, magic and adventures along the way.
When I imagine myself floating down the river, not pushing against the current, but fully surrendering to its mercy, I feel joy.
I wish what seemed like much of my primary and secondary educational years hadn’t robbed me of me. How is it that I spent so many years learning so little about where I find my voice of expression in the world -
    what makes me come alive
         what my natural gifts and abilities are.
It baffles me, really, how I can go through high school and not have a clearer idea who I am and how I want to be in the world. So much time was spent learning what others think, do, invent, but I didn’t know what I thought, wanted to do, invent, imagine, and create. I am sure eagle knows her majesty. Why don’t we educate so we know our place and our unique contribution to the world? Not from a place of self absorption and self centeredness, but from a place of our connection to something greater than ourselves...
                                                                                                                 the stream of life.
“Loving all things as oneself is a matter of emptying out that self, of giving away one’s center(ed)ness. This means, at first twist, becoming ‘nothing’. But it also means, at once, becoming all things” (Jardine, 1993, p. 99).