You saved me yesterday. You walked by as I struggled to remove my rented kayak from a rushing river. It was full of water. I was full of cuss words and pain. You were…..there…..at just the right moment to help me hoist the boat up on an embankment of log stairs.
I didn’t notice it was you immediately…..only after you took control of the situation, flipping the boat over to dump as much water as possible. Your build, face shape, hair color……and the sunglasses. It was you…..even if only in mind’s eye.
Once I plopped myself back into the boat (with help) and got on my way, I realized my vulnerability in the situation. Not one of my more graceful moments, I have to say. I was more raw in that moment than countless others, I’m sure…..although it was kind of difficult to care when it was all happening. A minute later, however, paddling out into the middle of the river…..the current taking me from you and that specific point on the shore…..it all hit me. The months of seeing your face everywhere had cumulated and manifested at an entirely new level…..and I wanted nothing more than to go back and see you again…..spend a few more minutes there on the shore. It was impossible, however……since it wasn’t even you. My realization of this, too, hit me…..and I collapsed right there on the water, tears and all.
I allowed the river to carry me along like that for some time. It was good that I found myself on a more peaceful stretch with few fallen trees to navigate. I didn’t have the energy for anything else. As I sat alone in my boat, fairly safe and secure after the whole ordeal, I noticed a lone crow circling overhead……keeping watch from afar, it seemed. And really, that’s more or less how I began to feel about the entirety of my experience…..that the universe was and is watching out for me in innumerous ways. You, even, unknowingly…..are maybe watching out for me. Perhaps not in a physical sense…..but if there exists a spirit world and some part of you is there, well….
What I’m thinking goes without saying.
(Author’s Note: One more thing I would like to mention……now, a day later…..is that I never saw another crow during the remainder of my trip down the river. I saw plenty of red-winged black birds and grackles, but no crows. It wasn’t until after my float had ended and I was back at my car that a murder of crows temporarily appeared nearby, making all sorts of noise before flying off to locations unknown. A short celebration, perhaps….that I was safe and back on shore? It’s interesting to me, sometimes, how I can fearlessly do so much alone…..and yet, still find seemingly small challenges scary or even life-threatening. Possibly, this is just a reflection of the overall human condition……the reality of our individual aloneness, but also the grace in what we all bring to each other’s lives. As always, thanks for reading and please feel free to share your own thoughts. ~Jeanie)