React like a River

4 min readMar 29, 2019
Gushing, Photo by BradensEye during her Mighty Zambezi

Rivers are our unpaid teachers. They offer advice freely. Every gurgling or smooth purview carries incalculable ounces of wisdom. Any river I’ve ever met doesn’t merely evoke poetic lore but has transformed to become a most prophetic legend in our living book for what I’ll deem the science of life schooling. The telling and retelling of river knowings is a lifeboat available to all. Failing to heed the calls of this wild won’t merely cramp your style as it will interrupt your existence. You can use anybody to consider your river reaction practice. Just think of one you’d like to toss into a cage fight or want to be smooching under the moonlight. Now, envision yourself meeting them at a river’s edge. Then blink your eyes closed to toss the thought into the river. Rivers are all about the drift in lieu of the control. Rivers persuade you to grab your grace as easily as you snag that cup of morning Joe and a check in your name gets deposited or cashed. Reacting like a river remains a lesson I most adore.

The river is one of my favorite metaphors, the symbol of the great flow of Life itself. The river begins at Source, and returns to Source, unerringly. This happens every single time, without exception. We are no different. ~Jeffrey R. Anderson

Water as a whole is a limitless educational tool. Water covers nearly 71% of our planet. It exists inside us, our animals, the ground and air, as well as tucked in glaciers to ice caps. Rivaling this is human body innards and all being up to 60% water. Clearly, without water, we’re doomed to wilt to a status where even Gumby could kick our butt every time. Oh, but with water what we are! Just as with rivers we are introduced to flow. A river forgets time or place and trusts what is the now. Ample room to meander, take a side dip, or go full force run simultaneously. Within the river we can be leisurely, on holiday, in hot pursuit, exuding intense effort, toiling for our earnings and catching fish all the same. Everyone meet the river as fluently as the mirror stares back to them. Each welcomes the other. Both may evolve as much as dissolve in time.

May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children. ~Rainer Marie Rilke

A river hasn’t the faintest clue if you’re singing the blues. You’ll find the river cheers you on as steadfast as the little pools of peace dot the rush of a rocky middle ground. Rivers have shown me the nuances of all interactions. They occur as readily as I enter a room full of smiling people I don’t know or take a family road trip for one too many hours in which rage always decides to invite itself along. If you’ve learned how to listen with your ears, but add your eyes, touch, and smell too, rivers cruise through all the senses of guidance. Flowing your way through trepidation of newness, being triggered, feeling punched in the gut, differing thoughts, and those who argue facts that are often opinions, then river reacting was made for you. The main idea is this allowance that has nothing to do with money. Instead, the river suggests we allow it all, as the flow will continue to work itself out best.

You can’t study the darkness by flooding it with light. ~Edward Abbey

Even if we’ve mapped, charted, and GPS coordinated our river run, we cannot guarantee the crocodile won’t be hungry near our campsite or when we sneak in a fresh water bathe before sunrise. Watching my everyday intelligence (and lack thereof) is akin to accomplishing a river rafting trip with experienced locals. Seeing where I bask in my femininity, harness my masculinity, stake a claim to the front of the rubber tube in order to have the most waves douse me with cold water during our hot days, cave to agreeing to appease the mood to help chill it, or begin inputting to inflame being on the same side so as to not disrupt the need for an anger release and much more rise to meet the river’s conversation. As with moments or winds, we might be pushed upstream or downstream in life. It is how we deliver an outcome from those ups and downs that matters. Destination healthy devotion is the proper bend I seek along my rivering.

As you go, so goes the river. Permission to be unkempt, tangled, lazy, tired, unmotivated, crass, wrong, and unprotected will be some of your guides. I’ve never meant any of this will forget all of our needs or frailty. Sometimes you’ll want the straight and narrow structure. Otherwise, beware the switchback and snakelike bends. Maybe it’s a rager you’re eager to thrash your brain against. Then again, inching along barely meeting the slug’s pace could curl your toes too. We will have plenty of forking times and comedic tubing parties if you like. Should the hushed tones of a watering holes stillness be your best friend then it awaits. The river is pure keenness of gain or regain. River gets your angels and your demons, your permed hair, fake boobs, nerdy swimsuit, critics and critiques, along with all of your gravitational pull. Never ever underestimate the river. It and you are everything. In everything you simply cannot be nothing. So you are as F**kin’ Perfect as anything can be.

As the river surrenders itself to the ocean, what is inside me moves inside you. ~Kabir

Perhaps answer any emotionality crawling your skin with the promise of the river’s reactive flow.




LOVER of life. Especially people, places, philanthropy, pondering, and photography.