I grew up in the country and a river ran right next to my backyard. My brothers built a raft using four empty oil drums and some old wooden planks. Like Tom Sawyer, they used a pole to push and guide it with and against the current, and from one shore across to the other. Being younger, I never had the opportunity to be the ‘Captain’ of the raft. No, that was for the older ones.
My little brother and I sailed little boats made of pieces of wood rescued from the trash bin in my dad’s workshop. We’d run the shore following along as far as we could as the current took the boat on its journey.
Our boats, and we, were at the mercy of the river’s current, sometimes swift, sometimes slow. But ever moving. Ever moving.
The Navajo believe that water, rivers, are the life-blood of Mother Earth. For the traditional Navajo, each time he or she crosses a river, a ceremony involving maze carried in a ceremonial pouch is performed at water’s edge in the river’s, or Mother Earth’s, honor. So strong is their belief in the importance of water!
Standing on the shore, watching The River run, even dipping your hand in its cool current helps you realize that you never touch that same drop of water again. Once it passes, it’s gone. Forever. Can’t get it back. And, what you don’t touch passes and is gone forever.
Garth Brooks sang a song titled, The River, and in it is a lyric: “. . . Too many times we stand aside and let the waters slip away; ‘Til we put off ‘til tomorrow, Has now become today . . .”
On one hand, that lyric speaks of missed opportunities, of procrastination, of not taking advantage of a given moment.
Wasteful, that is.
Lots of lost opportunities, lost moments in our lives.
With ourselves. With others. With our families. With our loved ones.
But what is so very hopeful to me is that The River keeps running. The River keeps flowing, keeps moving, so other opportunities present themselves to us.
I wrote a post titled “Morning” that talked about the opportunity to begin again, to start over, to make right and begin new. The River is a reminder that while opportunities pass by, other opportunities present themselves to us. Perhaps we shouldn’t “. . . stand aside and let the waters slip away. . .” but if they do, know that there will be other, perhaps equally important opportunities that will come our way.
Take hold of them. Chase the current, run the shoreline, and seize the opportunity that presents itself to us. We owe that to others and to ourselves. Something to think about . . .
Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!