The Writing River: One Writer’s Journey

The Writing River

I played in the river when I was young, I dared in it, I flowed with ease.

As I aged, I was smarter. I knew more than the ancient river. Dam that river, I thought. I fought for my control.

When the dam collapsed, I swam upstream to find what I was missing. I beat against the current until I buckled on the banks, fighting my lungs for the air.

I dragged my cleverness along the banks, from time to time dipping my toes in the stream that lured me. When I couldn’t bear to be so close yet not in it, I stuffed miles between me and the river to muffle its song, to escape the never-ending babbling, trickling, rippling, burbling that mocked me.

Even across the miles and years, the river beckoned: Come flow with me, gentle, downstream. Let me carry you to your dreams.

Forty years passed. I returned to the river. I made promises about dams and downstream, about showing up, about the flow.

As is the river, so am I: older, different, changing.

I’m one with the river now. The river is in me.

We flow.

When the flow slows, spilling into eddies, I spin in the eddy. Relax. Gentle reflection. When the waters thrill around boulders, spill over crags, I gasp delight, take long graceful dives into deep pools.

Every day, I stand on the banks of the ancient, wise river that will always and only flow. I show up at the writing river, ready for its gifts. I show up to let go and let flow.

┬ęPennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved. 2021.