Lessons from the River

This past weekend I ended up camping along the Sol Duc River on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula here in Washington state.  It wasn’t the original plan and it took me a while to adjust to yet another interruption to the flow of things – they’ve been many these days.  But it turned out to be the perfect place for me to be and as I spent time in the Klahowya Campground (Klahowya means welcome) and in those beautiful sparkling waters (Sol Duc means Sparkling Waters) I found Nature speaking to me through the language of the river.  Metaphor after metaphor showed up and though at the time I simply noticed them and let them flow on, since being back home they have worked their way deeper into my psyche and helped me to see things a little more clearly – much like I could see so clearly through those clean cool waters of the river.

I learned that when you float down the river in your wet suit and PFD you go more with the flow the more you lean back and relax and that if you don’t just relax it uses a heck of a lot more core strength, requiring a lot more energy and making you really sore afterwards.  How much more metaphorical could it get, right?

I also saw the Gaian Tarot cards appear over and over and I find it hilarious that I used the cards to playfully share my plans for the weekend on the Gaian Tarot Circle.  If I had only known how real many of those cards and others would become over those few days and how others didn’t appear as I thought they would.   The Canoe card, which I used to express that we were planning on doing some kayaking (we didn’t end up getting in our boats that weekend after all) was the no show.  I find it amazing that of all the cards that didn’t appear that was the one.  The card of focus, determination, and control over your destination.

The river was teaching me more about letting go and going with the flow and just what happens when you move behind a large boulder in the river thinking you can rest there!  Ha!  Being spun in circles and heading down river head first is far from restful – teach me!

I saw the Ace of Cups over and over as I watched little fish find shelter in shallow pools and slow moving waters near the shore.  I came to realize that that was what I was looking for, seeking out so desperately and the very reason I had once again headed out to go camping. The waters of my life, externally and internally as well as the waters of the energies of the universe are quite fast and full of rapids these days.  Those gentle pools to rest in are hard to come by and sometimes little flash floods come along and sweep me back into the flow before I feel ready and prepared.

For most of my life I have been that woman in the Eight of Water, swimming up river against the flow.  The flow of our society, of popular culture, of the way things have been done and the way things are often done still.  It can be down right exhausting to be such an individualist, but rewarding as well.  A while back I lost touch with all that and I have been trying to heal and find my way back over the last several years.  So when I was in the middle of a nice deep swimming hole swimming  against the current I was doing so with a smile on my  face and looking to those amazingly agile fish in the current with me for little wisdoms on how to keep on swimming (just like Dory).

For me, right now, it’s all about finding  how to go with the flow  (of life and the universe,not popular culture) and keep on being me, swimming up stream while staying as sane as possible.  Not always easy, but those little fish seem to have it figured out so I know there is hope.

I’m only touching lightly here on what I learned through the river, through my time camping and through all those metaphors, but I thought I’d share a bit of it here.  I know I’m not the only one feeling swept up in  the flow of the shifting energies of the universe these days and the ever shifting flow of our lives.  May you find the gentle pools to rest in, may you keep your head above water (except when there’s something particularly interesting to explore down there) and may Nature speak to you through the metaphorical wisdom of her land and waters.  Keep on swimming…just keep on swimming.


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