Sunday, July 1, 2012

Lessons on the river

Yesterday I lost my head and agreed to go tube down the river.  Now, we haven't had any rain in approximately 5,673 days.  Needless to day, the river was low.  But on we went.  So we get our tubes (I opted for one with a bottom), grad a quick snack, then load up on the bus that takes us to about the middle of nowhere to enter and then float to the end.  We get in and begin to float.  Well relatively float.  We eventually get to water where we aren't scooting over rocks, and the unexpected happens.  I am enjoying myself.  Spinning with the little bit of current, listening to my kids laugh, looking at the rocks and trees along the way, enjoying the sunshine.  Then, some clouds moved over.  No biggie, it was a nice break from the sun.  Then rumbling.  I started to get concerned.  But on we float.  Clouds and rumbles.  Then we hit some spots where there would be no floating.  And my sweet husband gets out of his tube and pulls me along.  We reach "deeper" water and begin to float again.  Sweet bliss.  Then I notice raindrops hitting the water.  It comes.  Rain.  Now, we need the rain, however, I do not particularly like being in it.  Especially in a tube, on the river, no where to go.  But on we float.  What else were we to do?  By now we are about half way through, and we come to some more areas that cannot be floated through.  Joel was behind me with the kids, I was not moving, so I got out to walk to "deeper" water.  Somewhere between the slippery rocks, the awkward tube, and my complete lack of balance, I fall.  Not being one to give up easily on things, I pick myself up and move on.  At about 3/4 way through, we were walking more than floating, I was tired of paddling, and could not see the bridge that was the end.  I look back and Joel and announce "I am officially done having fun!  Where is that stupid bridge?"  The rain stopped and on we float.  FINALLY we see the bridge, but there is no current.  That bridge is not getting any closer.  Eventually we just start walking to the end.  What normally takes about an hour when the river is up took us 3.

But we had a great day together.  We laughed, splashed, paddled, looked at fish, clams, tree roots hanging off the edge.  We were together.  And I forgot so much about the rain and the rocky areas.  I got to thinking about how much life is like this tubing trip.  We start off excited, ready, enjoying life.  Then a little rain falls, we hit some rocky areas, we fall down, we struggle, and we shake our fist at God and say "We are officially not having fun!!!" as if all of life is supposed to be fun.  As if it is His job to be our cruise director.  Then somehow we make it through those times, we pick ourselves up and begin floating along again. We relax in our tube, listen to the laughter, look at the scenery.  And it seems all the more sweeter after the rainy, rocky times.