River As Metaphor

Written by © Ariana Strozzi Mazzucchi, 2017

The river is with me every day, She has my attention. I ask River, “What do you want me to see?”My friend was taken by the river two years ago. His son lost a father. His wife lost a lover.  The river is moving very fast now. I think of his wife, my dear friend, who is going back in for breast cancer surgery a second time. I wonder what to say. I have no words. I imagine her as light as a feather floating on the swiftly moving water, allowing the river to hold her up as she floats on the top. Her body soft and relaxed, her mind free of pain and suffering and old hurts.
    The medicine woman goes into the forest and sits by the beginning of the river.  The water trickles quietly as it meanders past ferns and fairy mushrooms at its mini shores. The medicine woman asks the silent forest surrounding her, “What can I do?”     “There is nothing ‘to do’. It is the wrong question, dear one.” The small woman invisible in the expansive wildness around her, listened silently.
    “Follow the river.” Whispered grandmother tree as little drops of water fell from the bright green moss of her moist trunk into the not yet tiny stream.The medicine woman ponders the river. Her attention wanders, curiously hearing the river’s story.    The river has no beginning and no end. The drop of water from the moss comes from the upper canopy of leaves that comes from the rain that comes from the clouds that comes from the sea. The spring in the ground comes from the earth, which comes form the rain, which comes from the clouds, which comes from the sea. The water drops and the spring together become a tiny body of moving water which meets other springs, which form creeks, which flow consistently down hill to meet yet other springs and creeks and streams. The streams gain momentum as they head ever persistently towards to the sea. Their flow creates whirls of new energy and throws tiny drops of water into the air as they twist and gurgle through fallen branches, pebbles, rocks and dark earthen clays.

The streams meet other streams and become rivers whose main intent is to return the water to the sea.

The medicine woman has a vision. She sees people standing by the shores of the now muddy river, full of fallen trees and a stray boat here and there. The people are angry. They are yelling at other people on the other side of the river. They are pointing fingers and hurling profanities at each other, across the river’s width. Their words fall into the river and make her waters muddy and full of silt. The people on one side of the river are so focused on the people on the other side, they don’t notice that the river is getting bigger and feircer. Her power gaining as the people on the shore continue to shout and blame each other. The people do not notice the soils under their feet falling into the river.      The river is tempted to take a few people in her embrace as she tries to get their attention. She wishes the people would stop focusing on consuming themselves with fear and judgment. Even the young woman who has lost herself in her sorrows, crying tears into the river, judging herself for not being good enough. She invites the people to see the intricate relationship of each water drop working together to change the shape of the river, the sea, the rain clouds and the breath of the trees. But the people are not listening.

Meanwhile, the man made dams upstream are weak, threatening to take out whole cities of people. The rains pummeling randomly yet ever so purposefully, forcing earth to move, trees to fall, people to drown. You cannot fight the river. You cannot will the rains nor would you want to. And as quickly as the storm comes, it passes and the river becomes peaceful again. Her movements become more graceful, less fierce. People flock to her shores and envy the sparkles on the surface of her deep presence.
    The medicine woman allows herself to become the water drop falling from the wet moss of the Grandmother tree. She is the medicine of the water itself. She allows that stream to carry her down river towards the sea. She can hear the whales in the distance welcoming her arrival. She does not resist as the water accelerates moving quickly now through a challenge course of obstacles.
The river simply moves around or plows through whatever is in its way. She follows suit, her ‘one water drop self’ buoyant and graceful as she skips and bobs. Other water drops meet her as the rain greets the now swollen river. Together they move the sand at the shores of the sea to make room for more water to feed the sea.  The sea is the beginning and the sea is the end. The sea holds all of our wishes and forgives many of our failings.

    If we do not listen, if we become too self possessed, whether it be self damnation, or outer accusations of blame and wrongful intent, we lose our medicine, our ability to heal, our ability to be in balance, to be the ‘one little drop of water’ that contributes to either an angry torrent of water breaking dams or sparkling drops of glory.

How does the interior river within you flow?

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