On a recent Big Sur backpacking trip, my boyfriend and I trekked about 6 miles out to a free flowing river. We were both in desperate need for recalibration, fresh air and clean mountain water. As we rock hopped down the river bend to find the perfect camping spot, we were graced with a nice river beach and small sparkling water hole. For the next few hours we sunbathed, swam, cooked camp food and listened to the orchestra of birds singing throughout the evergreen redwoods. As the sunset swallowed up the warmth of our sand and stars slowly began to sprinkle above the mountain ranges, I watched bats dancing elegant infinity signs above the surface of the water. As we slept the trickle of the river echoed deeply in my subconscious.
The main thing I noticed in this simple experience was a starving hunger to be by this river stream. We spent the entire trip exploring the various twists and turns down the river bed, hypnotizing ourselves with the earthly colors throughout the water, collecting crystalline rocks, molding our bare feet to the various stepping stones and of course, drinking this mountain nectar and swimming in its magical depths. Before we left, I knew the river had many secrets to tell me. I could feel that a transformation had occurred at a deeply physical, spiritual and mental level–complete balance had been achieved, but the secret whispers of the river remained a mystery. Until we returned home. Integrating back into society after extended periods in nature is very difficult for me to do. I fear greatly the loss of the purity and peace, and experience disconnectedness as my mind tries to resolve it’s place back into society. The “disruption” was difficult for me to bear and eventually I began to cry to the universe about my mere existence. And then great waves of wisdom began to pour forth, opening my heart to the life within and around me.
It is the power of the river that I am compelled to share today. It is the grace and the consistency of this ever flowing current. It is the purity and the peace. It is the effortlessness and the infinite flow of life. It is the delicate movement of twigs and Autumn leaves being carried in absolute surrender on the surface, it is the continual push forward of the water, it is the never ending whisper of the stream, the layers of light being reflected atop it’s depths, the smooth and ancient rocks occasionally turning to meet the power of this force, which is only moving in one single direction: forward. This, my dear friends, is life in its fullest. It is our ability to be with this life, effortlessly surrendering, moving forward and never up stream, that allows this simple force of nature to take us in its everlasting arms and move us in the direction of our dreams. It is when we give up our struggles, our own resistance, our fear and our confusion, that we are able to find ourselves flowing with this beautiful current. It is this water that we are a part of, it is of us, and we are of it: ONE. We must heed its call in our life, allow it to purify us, trust its direction and merge fully with its force, becoming inseparable from it’s potent, healing, progressive and never ending flow. It is in this moment of realization that the wisest words I have ever had spoken to me rang true, and so my friends, let us…”Be like water in water.”