Like a River

I’ll wait no more for you like a daughter.
That part of our life together is over.
But I will wait for you forever,
Like a river, like a river.

Carly Simon

            I have pondered these lines for years, listening, wondering, waiting, like a daughter.  Now my mother has passed on and I know that time in our life together is over.  But what is this new chapter unfolding, this relationship like a river?

            Poetry, art and music abound with images of the river.  Its flow.  Its journey. Its source.  Its winding, spilling, carving, meandering, constancy and change. Its life-sustaining. Its destruction. Its mystery.

In the river I know I will find the key,
and your voice will rise like spray,
In the moment of knowing,
time will wash away my doubt.

            Rivers are considered feminine when they give rise to tributaries, daughters if you will.  Now that my Mother has left her worldly existence, she seems to flow even more strongly into her four daughters, inseparable, much of each of their own life flow recognized now as full of the Mother.  She flows into the generations of grandchildren and great grandchildren, gently influencing the onward flow of their lives: a laughing brook, a calming pool, acceptance of the inevitability of life’s twists and turns, knowing it will all flow through, softening the rocks and the earth’s hard edges, washing and renewing the land. The thrum of life.

            The water will have its way.  Sometimes slowly, patiently eroding our resistance.  Other times dramatically, powerfully overtaking our well-laid expectations.  Always carrying us to the sea, to merge again with Source.  If we can trust in the mystery and go with the flow, perhaps we can enjoy the ride.

Please keep reminding me of what in my soul I know is true.
Come in my boat. There’s a seat beside me,
And two or three stars that we can gaze into.

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