I was browsing a magazine about Great Rivers and Lakes. While flipping through the pages, and as each picture unfolded in my eyes, I was transported back to my childhood home in Lezo, Aklan.
At the back of our house is the Aklan River. This river has a special place in my heart. I spent hours sitting by its banks, watching the flowing water. Every year, after the flood, its course changes, and the banks steeped. But, it is the same river that has been a part of my childhood memories.
Once, I saw a floating twig, that was carried on swiftly by the flow of the water. I wondered…when did this twig left the shore, found its way in the middle of the river, and let it be taken somewhere?
That was just one of the many ordinary(or so I thought) sights, while I sat on the bank and watched the river.
…and, four decades later, it struck me. I remembered the Hopi Indian poem that I once read (in part):
There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid,
They will try to hold on to the shore.
They will feel like they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore,
Push off into the middle of the river.
Keep our eyes open, and our heads above water.
At some point in my life, there is that fear. Fear of the unknown, that I just wanted to hold on and be within my comfort zone. But life is never that way.
Not realizing, I made the Hopi Indian poem be a part of my quest for the real meaning of life and living: Leave the shore – don’t be afraid to be in the middle of the river – let the river take you in its course.
In life, there are things that we can control, and things that we can’t. But, whatever consequences prevail, we stepped out over and beyond the safety of the familiar, to make our choices.