Folding paper, we made an armada of boats, to float down the gushing waterway. Their trek would be precarious, over rocks and swampy grasslands, across the expanse of the yard before making a final plunge over the waterfall to the waiting drain pipe. Releasing our boats, we chased them down the shore watching their progress, using sticks to guide them on their journey.
Dropping over what was it's equivalent of a class 3 rapid, my boat became moored on a rock and was quickly overtaken by the liquid beast. Wet paper, unfolded, wrapping itself around it's captor. As Cole laughed at my efforts, my mind raced back to white water canoeing the New River Gorge. We got caught trying to cut across the river in the middle of the rapids and violently wrapped our canoe around a rock. We were thrown and quickly swallowed.
They had prepared us for just such a fate. Don't panic and flail away or try to swim through head first. Keep your feet up and pointed down stream to propel yourself of the rocks. Use your arms to guide you. Simple instructions, in case you were thrown to the mercy of the river gods...that seem to work in life as well.
Life overtakes us, we panic, flailing we make the mess larger, burning up much needed energy in time of trial. Or we try to hasten the end, shorten the pain, by rushing through headfirst, smacking more rocks along the way. Calm water will come, but what you do while you are in the rough water, makes all the difference.
My paper boat destroyed, I watched the boys continuing their play, smiling. In a day or two the water would disappear, until next time.