Tuesday, July 22, 2008

By The Riverside

Here in Pennsylvania, the dog days are upon us. It's hot and humid, and many of us are spending much of our time indoors (assuming we have a/c).

It's a good time to take a walk along the river. Even if you're not in Pennsylvania, and even if you don't have a major river nearby, it's still a good time to walk along the river.

The image of a river has been used for countless ages to symbolize many things - in particular, life and time. Rivers keep flowing, just as time does. And rivers meander, just as life does.

But a river can also symbolize something even more eternal: YOU.

Not the human you, but the you that existed before you were human, the you that you will return to after this life is over, the you that is at this very moment quietly flowing underneath the incessant chatter of your mind.

Once in a while, if not daily, it is very helpful to reconnect with that part of you that is eternal, that keeps on flowing, that changes very little, almost imperceptibly, throughout your many experiences and explorations.

People spend lifetimes trying to bring some of that peaceful flow into their human lives. And what they eventually come to realize, in this life or in some other, is that every event and circumstance they encouter is simply imagery on the banks of that river.

Such imagery is very vivid, and quite mesmerizing. So much so that we often don't see the river that is flowing amongst it. In fact, we tend to think that the answers we seek are to be found among the imagery, among the trees and bushes and creatures and flowers. And while all of those things are quite beautiful and valuable in their own right, they are far more beautiful when seen in the context of the timeless river that supports and nurtures them and makes it all possible.

So on these hot summer days, when we find ourselves retreating from the heat and the sunshine in favor of the cool shade, take a moment to walk along the river. Let the imagery go for a moment, and tune in to that flow from which it all springs.

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