Then suddenly, some seen, some unspoken undercurrents shifted and for vaguely defined reasons our kayaks were surged apart. Perhaps our boats came too close before we’d learned each other’s paddling style, or felt secure enough about our own skills. Maybe there were too many other journeys begun that were still unresolved, or experiences on previous falls tainted the unknown future. Maybe the idea that a shared journey could be joyful was too unfamiliar for one of us to trust. No matter—despite how much heart I invested in paddling, or how patiently or mindfully I aimed for the long horizon, the fear-inducing waters asserted their powers and pushed me away. The universal force of gravity revealed in the river’s flows often expose what minimal conscious control we have over where we’re headed. No matter how earnest our efforts, we sometimes find ourselves spinning in white water, at times dumped underwater without a life jacket, the course of our vessel diverted from other’s.
We can only catch our breath, attend to our bumps and scrapes, patch the boat and our selves as best we can. After the shock wears and we try to get our bearings, we might attempt to read the memory of now past waters to learn the cause. Some of us may even try to glean meaning from such once close then distanced friendships. Looking into the wonderful rich reflections, perhaps we attempt to grasp some deeper soulful purpose within a sweet, briefly shared sojourn.
Yet the waters continue moving and we must still keep afloat, and be still to keep afloat. So we recenter, try to keep calm amid random, potent emotional flows, and once again brave the currents. Maybe appreciate ever more fully that we can only slightly control our own kayak. Distance makes earnest wishes offered to our traveling companion, no matter how sincere, echo on the surface, uncertainly heard. We humbly carry on, wondering even as we are swept forward if we’ll ever again float happily side by side. We’re left only to graciously appreciate the awesome, unfathomable beauty of having temporarily merged some of our being with another. The only certainty that reveals itself is that the uncontainable yet supportive waters are still flowing. The golden light warms and guides us, and its glow radiates over all.