Raging Water

Today was a tough day… the reality of a broken relationship, questioning all my past and current choices, the hurt of misunderstanding, the feeling of shame, the weight of my family’s future and the constant barrage of self sabotaging negative dialogue is raging a war inside my head.  My heart aches, and my body hurts.  My anxiety and depression are becoming difficult to manage…

so I got in the car and took a drive

I took a drive to clear my head and drown my thoughts with music and podcasts, and soon found myself next to the water just north of the city.  Being next to water, in nature, observing creation at it’s finest has always been a calming place for me.  Growing up, I was incredibly fortunate to be exposed to the great outdoors at a young age, when my dad would take me camping each summer from the age of eight.  Although it seemed like injuries were a common, consistent and inevitable right of passage for the Martin boys camping weekend, I looked forward to it each year.  These weekends above most other childhood memories are vivid and are cherished.  They have helped shape me, have affirmed a love of the outdoors, a deep appreciation for back woods first aid skills, and encourage a peace that can only come from being in that environment.

I needed to find that calm today

As I sat trying to admire the beauty, trying desperately to ease the storm inside, I was mesmerized and drawn to the rushing water as it cascaded down the river.  It was loud, reckless, uncontrolled and dangerous.   Yet sitting on the shore, I knew I was safe from the unpredictable current of turmoil raging just a few feet in front of me.

The trajectory of my life has followed a similar path.  What seems to start as a calm, flowing river, quiet and serene, quickly turns into a raging, roaring, and unpredictable series of waves and rapids.   There is a term used in WhiteWater circles called “Reversal”.  This is a place where the current swings upwards and revolves back on itself, causing a treacherous meeting of currents that can drown swimmer and rafters (sourced from https://www.pinnacle-travel.org/whitewater-rafting-glossary/).  This seems to be the place I currently find myself, in an inescapable, treacherous current; almost drowning.

I’m sure there are plenty others who feel stuck in this rotating spiral of vicious waves, trapped with no visible way out, unsure of which way is actually up!  But what actually calmed my own head (and eventually inspired this post), was that although I was fixated on the raging water and the noise it created, turning to look further down stream to see the water become calm, the noise died, the current slowed and peace being found.   The chaos that was so unpredictable, soon made sense.  It became tame, controlled and quiet.  It brought back those soul reassuring and refreshing feelings of being a young boy standing feet from the water, breathing the beauty of the outdoors, weightless and free.  It certainly doesn’t mean that the problems, anxieties, fears and burdens are not still present…they are very much still there… but there is hope that someday soon it will make sense.  The turmoil and chaos of our lives is only there for a time;  it may toss and turn again, swell up, force us back down….

but eventually it becomes quiet, becomes meaningful, and rest and peace will come.


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