Sometimes life is like a river, you can dip your toe in and get wet, or even enjoy the sensation of the water as it passes your legs as you paddle. It seems pleasant enough and the temptation is to go further in, to have a splash about, all great fun. And for many this is the experience of the river. A joyous experience of happy memories and tales to tell around a warm campfire.
But for some the river shows it’s darker side and the slow moving water on the surface hides the strong current of the water below. Each step becomes a fight not to get swept away, the once cool water is now cold and sapping our strength along with our resolve, all it takes is one small slip to be carried away. Each draining, cold step on the slippery rocks below, can be one step too far. Away we are carried – downstream.
Go with the flow, save your strength until the water once more calms down so you can swim to the safety of the shore. That is the thought we are told in one form or another – better the devil you know – but this can and does lead some to the rapids. A place so unforgiving that even the strongest of us will be broken against the rocks, too slippy and smooth to cling to, the very rocks themselves changed by the waters touch.
Though the water still flows fast, the end of the rapids, if we have survived, seems to offer a bitter relief. But the rapids are rarely just one set; just around the corner hides another trial.
Luck plays it’s part, or fate, or destiny, call it what you will, I have even heard it be called a ‘life lesson’, when after giving up, we are washed to the shore, battered, bruised, defeated. But alive.
We dry ourselves in the sunlight, maybe even manage to light a small fire to push the cold embrace of the river from our body. In time we make a shelter that protects us from the elements, catch fish, and forage from the land around us. We survive.
For some inexplicable reason we stay, by the river, where we washed up.
Our surroundings don’t always reflect the weather that effects the river. It can be lovely and sunny where we are, but upstream there has been a storm, an outside force, the effects of which may not be felt for some time. One day we will swing our legs over the side of the bed in the morning only to be ankle deep in water, but to fearful of moving.
It is beginning to feel like that moment where I need wellies.
And it doesn’t help with it being the time of the year it is.
‘Tis the season to be jolly, tra la la la laaa – la la – F*$@ off! Go passive aggressively bother someone else.