Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Floating Down The Lazy River

 I was thinking about what I wanted to say in this post.

I recently wrote about a time of transition. And I was thinking that during this time, I've had to make some difficult decisions - choosing between things I like and want, letting go of some, making different choices than I may have in the past because it feels like the right decision now.

And as this short summer tutoring class I've been teaching comes to a close, and as I begin the final review of this draft of the memoir before sending it on to my mentor for editing, and it's at the end of August where everything slows around here until the early fall ramp-up next month - I have this sense of, well, almost a lull.

It is not the lull of going to sleep. Or the lull of inactivity. Or the lull of boredom.

That is what got me to thinking about rivers. I miss being on the river. This past season, I withdrew from dragon boat racing due to time conflicts, which included completing the memoir and the novel. I put the novel on hold while I focused on the memoir. Then I pretty much put short story writing on hold until I finished the memoir. Now that I am at the final keystrokes of the memoir, I am missing the river even more. I haven't even been able to take time to go out in a kayak. (Yes, fall can be a beautiful time to be on the river in a kayak and I do have hope that I will get in some lake/stillwater kayaking before the season gets too cold for me.)

Columbia River (photo by Dot.)

I thought about writing. About endings and transitions. About times of change and my title phrase about "lazy river" popped into my head.

That thought was immediately followed by the thought that rivers are anything but lazy. Their surfaces may look meandering and calm, ripples flowing over each other, leaves and twigs being carried along, not in a hurry - soothing to sit on the banks and let your gaze quiet.

Rivers are pathways from here to there. Under the surface rocks tumble and move, rub and erode and crack, trap and release. Life lives in the river - fish, bugs, plants. Water temperatures change, affected by weather and snow melts far away in the mountain range, by the sun and the wind -  the surface temperature and the deep temperature vary. Sometimes the water is smooth over rocks or choppy over rocks, speeds fast or slow. Rivers are always moving. Rivers are always incubating life, percolating change, are an agent of change.

Rivers are anything but lazy.

Like now. My river of transition. Calm on the surface, not a lot of action visible - flowing, shifting. This is going from here to there - fuel for the next creative outpouring. I am floating in the current for a brief time, to soak in the accomplishments, rejuvenate my spirit, to restore that gently rocking balance in preparation for the next stage. While underneath the surface the ideas continue to grow, the senses adapt and change, excitement builds toward the possibilities of what could be ahead.

Calm and lazy are not the same.