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Endings and New Beginnings on the French Broad River

Sunset on the French Broad, Trees Bend Gently Over the Passing Water

Sunset on the French Broad, Trees Bend Gently Over the Passing Water

This period I am experiencing right now parallels that of the turbulence of the planet.  My marriage finally ended legally, my father is terminally ill, my house is ruined, our earth is on the verge of destruction, our rights are being stripped and freedom is a distant memory, and yet there are moments when it all smooths out.  The light is soft, judgment vanishes, and everything we see glows.  The worries of the times are put on hold as branches gently sway. and bend, not fighting what is  For a moment there is peace and grace.

Last Light French Broad River

Last Light French Broad River

As the last light glowed amid shadows, I felt the breath of spirit.  All that I love that is leaving this earth seemed suspended for a moment in an ethereal dream of wholeness.  The river a living proof that the beginning, middle and end of all that is never ceases to be present in some state. I watched and watched holding on to every last second of an eternity the image of which dissolved before my eyes.  I wished for this peace for my father and everyone and everything that is suffering on the planet right now, for myself for bearing witness.  I prayed that pain, like the small rocks in this river that caused temporary ripples, would be smoothed and softened by the power of love. My filter slowed the scene and I wished it could slow it even further, but at the same time I knew that sometimes pain is too intense and a time comes when letting go and being carried to another shore is the best course.  That time is not quite yet and so I hold the preciousness of life in my heart and shine all the half light I can muster now.

Teaching the Family to Swim in Turbulent Waters

Teaching the Family to Swim in Turbulent Waters

In the morning, I awoke to two geese teaching their goslings to swim in churning waters.  One parent would go in front and the other behind, to protect their young when they got caught up in currents that might take them in a direction where they might be harmed.  The downy goslings glowed in the morning light.  It was so touching to see the parents protect them so. 

There is Always One Youngster that Steps Out of Line

There is Always One Youngster that Steps Out of Line

While the parents were looking in different directions to see what danger might be lurking (and I was standing nearby quietly with my dog Takoda, who followed my example watching patiently without making a sound but was still likely a threat) one gosling seemed to stand up on its hind legs.  Was it trying to take off or just get a better look at what lies ahead.  How many times I must have failed to listen thinking I could figure out my own way.  Would this offspring I wondered come to a sad end, or did it possess courage enough to go on its own and survive if it became separated from its protectors.  

Mallard Couple out for a Morning Swim

Mallard Couple out for a Morning Swim

This mallard couple swam by next in perfect synchronicity.  Were they a pair that mated for life? What would happen when one approached the end faster and one swam no more?  I wanted to freeze this moment and protect them in a bubble, but they were soon down the river exploring new territories.

Heron Surveying the Scene

Heron Surveying the Scene

My gaze drifted along the rocks and I spotted this Great heron.  These birds always stand so still until they suddenly take flight and are gone.  Before they move on, they appear to be meditating, though perhaps they are just resting to garner enough strength to search for food and survive in waterways that are increasingly compromised.

Spending several days on the river listening to its sounds and feeling its rhythms has been medicine to my soul.  Listening to the rain has been cleansing too..  The impermanent life forms that I share its banks with seemed full of life, because they focused only on the present moment.  I hope to take these lessons to heart, so i will feel calmer and have more peace to share. There is no way to hang on to tree limbs or trunks at the edge of the water.  I and everything else will eventually be swept away.