In the River
This evening, despite the threats of rain and thunder storms, Saoirse and I take Sadie to the Wapitti River. The birch trees are magnificently tall there and their roots are exposed as they hug the cliffside as they stretch down into the river. We swam in the warm waters and covered ourselves in river mud. Sadie too faced her fears and dove into the water, slowly becoming more confidant of herself and the waters depth. As dark clouds rolled in over head we packed our bags, feeling refreshed and rejuvinated we hiked back over the beach rocks to the slick mud path that leads up onto the trail back through the woods to the car. Stopping my heart, a crack of lightning crashed over our heads. I almost fell from the impact, Saoirse too was arrested with fright, we felt it snap through our bodies and shake us to our core. It was magnificent in its power and frightfully right over our heads. We were truly rattled by the experience. It was life force energy, larger than we could explain. Saoirse attempted to tell Niamh via cell phone, it was "giant-est". As we walked back to the car Saoirse remembered the story of a man killed by a falling tree during a storm and she asked me if we should be afraid. I told her that fear is a choice: at first our bodies send a message to our brains that something uncertain has happened but then the brain chooses whether or not to turn it into fear. We can choose not to be afraid. It leads me to think about my class: Into the River, life is like a river and this unexpected and alarming bolt of electricity is like the unexpected life force energy that rudely interupts our lives. My friend lost her cousin this afternoon, he committed suicide. Death is such a rude interuption into our lives. It requires us to come out of our comfort zones and contemplate on things we would rather avoid. It is a wake up call to us all, that life is fragile and there is no time to judge others for no one knows the hour of our own departure. I have been to the GP hospital only twice: the first time was to visit Machara Flowers, she was just 22 hours old and the second time to say farewell to a woman I had never met. I am so grateful for these moments as they remind me of the life force that moves through us and for that lightning bolt to remind me to not take life for granted and to never be afraid.