Long may you run….
Neil Young wrote this song about his car. Tonight, it made me think about a lot of things in this life o’ mine. Thinking about Change. Loss. Love. Laughter.
Thinking about my family. My mom and my dad. Days spent in the back yard letting my imagination run wild with my bro and sis. Thinking about summers at our cabin in the mountains, bonfires and s’mores. Ghost stories told long into the night. Happy sun kissed faces glowing all around. My childhood. My dreams. Days into nights. Weeks into months. Years into years into years.
The only promise that life makes us is that it will change. And yet we spend most of our lives trying to prove it wrong. We desperately batten down the hatches, trying to create some sense of stability and security… only for life to come along, and with merely the flick of one elegantly extended finger she turns all on its head. Never to be the same. I recently attended a retreat run by a man who had spent two years in solitude in the mountains. TWO YEARS!! IN SOLITUDE!! NO TALKING PEOPLE!! FOR REAL??? Anyway, he told us to close our eyes and envision that we were on our backs floating down a river. At some points, the river is peaceful and calm…. we serenely float along. And then there are parts where it gets so rough and choppy that we get scared and anxious. There are rocks and branches along the banks that beckon to us to grab hold of and save ourselves….
Obviously the river is life. Sometimes it’s serene, sometimes its a raging swollen whitewater mess. The rocks and branches represent the things that we hold onto; material things, memories, bad habits, emotions we can’t let go of and experiences we can’t release. When we hold on to these things, like clinging to a branch or a rock in the middle of a raging river, we halt our journey…we stop mid stream. It may seem as though it’s saving us, but in reality it just puts us in a position where now we are held in place and the river beats upon us until we don’t have the strength to hold on anymore. Life is about letting go, arms out, floating and letting the water take you where the river flows.
I know this life is hard. I also know it is beautiful beyond reason, breathtaking in its sights and sounds and will always follow with sunshine after rain. I know that love is difficult. And yet I believe in its power to heal its own wounds, to call upon its sisters faith and hope to begin anew. I know that change is inevitable. I know that it is the very root of many of our deep seated fears and anxieties. I know each of us must contend with its dreaded hollow knock upon our door…..
And yet, I know each of you have within yourself the reserves to take a deep breath, stretch out your arms, and push off into the river’s flow.
Long may you run…… xx