Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Find Me in the River

I walked down to the river this morning. It's not far, and I don't do it nearly enough.

Something in the river calls to me. I stand on its banks and stare down into the deep swirling pools, a dark and moody green-grey on a day like today. There is a wildness there, danger and tranquility churning and foaming together and flowing past. And flowing past.

I found myself standing and staring for a long time. The river runs through a national wildlife refuge in that area, so the surrounding scenery is beautiful. I stood and waited. For what, I didn't know, but I felt compelled to wait, and expectantly.

The waiting held no anxiety, no frustration, no uncertainty. Rather, it was hopeful. I had faith that my waiting would pay off, there would be some reward, something to make it all worthwhile.

A faint rainbow appeared briefly, then shyly disappeared again. The grey clouds, now thick and heavy, now wispy and thin, danced between and over and around the snowy peaks. I stood so perfectly still that I felt a part of the scene around me.

While I waited, a gentle spring rain pattering on the hood of my coat, I listened to the birds. I hadn't heard them at first; it had just been quiet. But the quieter I became in my soul, the louder the birds sounded. I could hear a dozen or so varieties, chattering noisily, oblivious to the chill and gloom.

I listened and watched the little song birds flitting about, the water fowl gliding through the shallows. Finally, a graceful pair of Canada geese, honking loudly, flew in from the South and landed on a sandbar in front of me. I would have scored their synchronized landing a perfect ten. It was a very ordinary thing, but very beautiful, too.

And then I realized: I had been waiting for something big, something flashy, something showy, and what I really was there to witness was the birds--the ordinary, every day birds, going about their regular business on a regular day. It was anything but mundane in its simplicity.

Waiting expectantly with quiet hope...finding beauty in the ordinary...yes, I need to go down to the river more often.

1 comment:

Mister Ed T said...

Good thoughts. Good reminder.