Each stage of childhood brings with it, it’s own unique joys. At eight, Montana is pretty much up for the next level of adventuring.
As she nervously awaits to board the bus for our white water rafting I’m proud of her for being willing to verbalized that she’s nervous, but I wonder why at the same time……this is actually her third time rafting.
(Granted one time she slept through the whole thing as I held her in my arms – amazing for the mama…..)
So we sat together on the rock, everything taken care of on our end, waiting……..
……..and then just like that, the bus ride is over, the chatter and rules are over, the dividing and introductions are over and we’re on the river. The crystal clear water that has literally come from the glaciers and will nourish us today in more ways than one. Her smile has become her face and her big brown eyes are alive with exactly what life is suppose to reflect back from an eight year old. Excited innocence and anticipation of the glory to beheld up around the bend………
The power of the mountain river is apparent in every rock. The glacier fed river is also very generous in allowing views to reach her rocky bottom. The variety of colors shimmer their unique beauty up to the surface and in these early stages of the ride we take in the rocky colors of calm.
There is no mystery for me as to why people seek the clarity of nature when life becomes murky and unsure. The river offers a clear forward flow. Life is perpetually moving forward however not always clear…..yet life gives us these moments of clarity and it is for us to be living with our eyes wide open in order to take in the view. I can’t imagine there is a life decision whose answer wouldn’t t be as clear as the water from these snow-capped mountains.
Yet just as in life, we turn the bend of the river and the fallen bolders that tried their best to block the stream have failed; yet succeeded in churning up the calm into a froth of uncertainty. And it is in these moments we brace ourselves. Use the skills we’ve been taught. Look to those in our boat and together navigate the waters.
I look over my shoulder and those big brown eyes are taking in the white water with a healthy mix of fear and excitement and then our eyes lock. It’s for a split second, but enough for her to know that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world in this moment and that even more importantly, I couldn’t want for anyone else to be in my boat.
The rapids are upon us. Commands are shouted and breath-takingly-cold water comes straight at us. To be doused is unavoidable. My body takes on an energy as I paddle through this section, wet, cold, nervous, shivering, yet all the while determined to not only keep myself afloat, but to keep everyone in my boat afloat.
There’s a beauty in this danger and uncertainty. The unknown allows for strength of character to emerge and it’s how we responded to the challenges put forth by the river that has allowed our boat to pass through and now breathe, warm off in the sun, and to smile and laugh with one another while taking in the glory of our boat’s success. Eyes no longer reflect fear of the white cap water, but a gratitude and even stronger trust in the strength of not only each self, but our collaboration to persevere.
And so the river flows and we eagerly take on each section; gaining in confidence and trust…….and inevitably……have fun even in the biggest of white caps.
Groovy Girls Go…….Thanful to be in the Same Boat