16,000 people each winding their way from Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk along the coast to Capitola Wharf, a six-mile flow of humanity, swelling and streaming, turning and twining as each individual contributes their drop in the stream. 16,000 little egos arrived this morning in the gray dawn to race or run or walk the course for their own very individual reasons, community, competition, challenge, celebration, aware of the larger flow but focused on their own steps.
Inspired by the pictured slogan, my reason became the flow, to be part of a movement quite literally, to experience myself as a mere drop in a water of bodies. I looked across the sea of faces and backs and bottoms, marveling at the differences and then allowing all difference to blur into the flow. As I acknowledged my fellow runners, I saw them softly and resisted the invitation to engage in conversation so that I could reflect on the larger conversation of all of us. The overheard snatches of words, light greetings, calls of encouragement, shared family drama, work and business news, all flowed into the sound of the river of human conversation.
I observed the remarkable variety of people from all walks of life, all ages, abilities, genders, shapes and sizes, hair and body art, costumes, clothing, social and political messaging, the flow of unity blending all differences into one. My judgments arose and I indulged momentarily the human impulse to separate, but found myself quickly back in the flow, separation a mere illusion. Whether I moved to the edges of the river run or right down the middle, whether slowing or quickening to pass ahead, my little agenda barely noticeable in the greater sweep of movement.
We shared the day, the road, the music and cheers from the river bank, until we gave ourselves up on the ocean shore, dispersed onto the sand. Collecting our gift bags and T-shirts we each made our way back into our seemingly separate lives, but perhaps this shared run of the river will remind us at times of our shared humanity.
This Youtube video of the 2014 Wharf to Wharf gives a beautiful view of the flow of the runners alongside the actual river bank.
#WharftoWharf, #RiverRun, #SeaofHumanity, #CommunityRun, #Unity
Please join Sherry and Satya for an all day Women’s Retreat:
River Flow: Journey of the Sacred Feminine
Saturday, September 14th 9:30am – 4:30pm
Private home in Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz
To register visit SacredThreshold.org or email