Wednesday, April 8, 2009

White water

Down behind the house, at the bottom of the yard is a creek bed. Usually dry, even in the most torrential rain it's little more than a trickle creek. Once every couple years, they drain the water reserves, and what was dead roars back to life. The rumble of rushing water reaches into the house, and for the next three days a river runs through.

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.

15 comments:

Candie Bracci said...

Superb post Brian!
Have a great day :)

Mrsupole said...

That sounds like such a fun time with the boys. It must be great to have a creek behind the house even if you can only do this once a year. This is something the boys will remember for many years maybe all their life. You are building such memories with them right now.

Glad you are okay from the river trip and you will be okay with the trials you are going through right now. Just remember those instructions and calm waters will return in your everyday life. I think it is good that you are writing about these things in your posts and just know that I do notice them. God is watching over you right now and you are safe. You have love in your life, which is the most important and hardest thing to find. Love is elusive and you have found it. You are blessed.

Daniel said...

Nice lesson today. I will work to keep it in mind. Maybe I can avoid a few more rocks, who knows?

Brian Miller said...

@mrsu...yeah, b/c the river only shows up every 2 years we forget about it until we wake up one morning to the roar of the water rushing by. God has given me an amazing peace with my life right now. it is a struggle, but i know that He will lead me to calm waters once again. i have a great family, whom i dearly love, and as long ass we are together, we can face anything.

@daniel...when life gets rough there always seem to be more rocks coming. keeping the feet up at least lets me know they are coming and deflect what i can. blessings.

Colette Amelia said...

Wonderful! I guess you were using the one danger (water) to get you through the maybe bigger dangers?(rocks)

Baino said...

Good analogy Brian. Although even in the calm there's always the rapids ahead. A quiet float on a lilo would be nice once in a while!

Anonymous said...

"Hypothermia is Great! It's soothes the mind!"

-DF

Brian Miller said...

@DF...lol. and the oatmeal that would not go away!

Anonymous said...

Yea.. and back in your heathen days.. beating up that poor kid who was frightened by the thunderstorm on a "Mesa" in WV. Come to think of it... maybe it wasn't the smartest of moves to have a guide who was deaf. It takes far longer to sign out "Oh Crap, I think I'm drowning" than it does to say it...

Good Times.

-DF

Ronda Laveen said...

And as you are floating feet down the stream, just knowing there might be a log to grab on to or a hand reaching out to help, gives hope. Hope is the light in despair. We have back yard ponds that fill with heavy rains and last for days to weeks. Some times the ducks land on them. But, during summer they are dry ponds. I love them.

tut-tut said...

Very interesting. D and I are together 24/7, working in the SAME ROOM! Sometimes, I wish for a little space, you know?

Happy Egg Day!

lettuce said...

this post really says something i have to keep telling myself, thankyou

life is giving me lots of panicky moments just now and I KNOW the theory about relaxing, and breathing, and not flailing around - and i KNOW it does really work - but its hard sometimes.


thankyou for this

lettuce said...

(going to link to this on a post this weekend)

Brian Miller said...

@lettuce...cool, will look for it, thanks...

Squirrel said...

Floated over ( trying not to flail -- not even a little bit ) from Lettuce's blog. Hope has been a word we've heard like a mantra this past year, and it's a good mantra, calming a lot of us down enough to not get into panic mode. Now I have a visual from you to go with it.