A Walk Along The River

river's edge

My husband and I took a walk along a local wooded trail on Saturday. A windstorm earlier in the week had stripped most of the fading autumn leaves from the branches, giving us an almost unencumbered view of the river.

I love walking alongside the river, particularly the portions where the water seems to rush toward clusters of smooth bolders. In various spots along the riverbank, cement benches face areas where the water is smooth and peaceful. Here, couples hold hands and enjoy and placid scenery.

I prefer the rushing water. There’s something invigorating and exciting about the noise and the motion. How just a few rocks throw in the path of peaceful waters can create such temporary chaos, before the water inevitably settles down so easily, so calmly once those obstacles are removed.

So much has been written about rivers and streams, how meandering and rushing waters compare to our moods and our trials and tribulations in life. There’s probably not much more that I could say about the topic that hasn’t been said. Still, I can’t help but contemplate how, in my own life, I long for stillness and peace, yet when it comes to the river, I’m drawn to the motion, the activity – the part when everything that has settled to the bottom of the riverbed is churned about and forced into the flow. Nothing stays at peace for long.

It’s a great metaphor for life, isn’t it? Nothing stays at peace for long.  That’s what life is. A series of events and changes. It’s motion, activity, noise, and that isn’t always a bad thing. At some point during my particular journey, I began to associate any type of change with negativity. I wanted everything to stay the same. Anything that wasn’t static or peaceful was terrifying.

I think I’m ready to start enjoying life a little more. Maybe start making a few small changes, or at least recognizing that change doesn’t have to be bad. Already I’m starting to put things into perspective.

How about you? How do you perceive change, activity and motion? Do you enjoy the peaceful and tranquil aspects of nature, or are you more drawn to the more active aspects?

4 thoughts on “A Walk Along The River

  1. Tranquility can be very seductive, especially when we live busy lives. But at some point the danger is in tranquility turning into a static life, where we protect ourselves from changes that we actually need to make. Change can be hard and difficult, so we resist it, preferring peace. There are times though where change disrupts our lives and actually brings us to a much better place – a place that is more calm and comfortable because it’s actually a better fit.

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  2. I always like the rushing, churning portions, too. Life is like story. The interesting parts are always the most turbulent. Maybe not the best to live through, but the most interesting, and the clam feels more appreciated after a good shake up.

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  3. Since you follow my blog, you probably know that I have bipolar disorder. As you clearly know, depression is no fun, but I prefer it over mania. Depression is like the smooth and peaceful parts of your river. It is a restorative relief from the frantic times in my life.

    Fortunately, the water in the river continues on to places that are invigorating. I am currently being swept up in the current, trying to stay in the flow while my emotions spin me into eddies.

    Thanks for helping me to remember that the river of life is always flowing, always moving on, always changing. Even when I get caught in an eddy, the flow will float me out of it.

    Sending my best wishes as you remember the churning river when your own life flow is similarly churning.

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  4. I too crave peace. I do not like change, but I know change is necessary sometimes. I’m content to stay at home and read, but I recognize that I miss out on a lot of living doing that. Plus, I have dreams that could become realities if only I did something instead of just dreaming.
    Thank you for sharing this lovely post.

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