Life is Like Floating the River

I have been a little preoccupied with life’s busyness lately and cannot seem to catch a moment to slow down enough to regroup. Do you ever feel like that? Life is good with so many blessings; however I do not feel like I am taking time to reflect with gratitude and that is something that I personally need. We live in the Texas Hill Country and in my opinion, one of the best places on earth to live with a little of everything outdoorsy right in our “backyard”. We have lived here almost 3 years and have not taken advantage of how close we are to the Guadalupe River. During dinner with our friends Friday night we decided the four of us would go float the river Saturday. The next day we gathered some things and drove to the Bergheim Campground, rented our tubes, secured the cooler and sat down in our tubes, pushed off the bank and off we went. Keith and I connected our tubes and kicked back to let the river do the work. I love trees and these are some of the most beautiful, majestic cypress trees making the scenery a nice perk. It dawned on me that there are many similarities between life and floating the river.

Sometimes Life Is Slow and Steady

Much of the river was slow and relaxing. Keith and my tubes were tied together; we floated side by side just enjoying the ride. This reminds me of when life is going well and we can see what the day holds with no surprises. So easy to breeze through the day happy go lucky just as we were floating along down the river. 😊

Sometimes Life Gets Out of Control and We Cannot See What Is Ahead

Along the way there is periodic rushing water with falls. Suddenly, you sit up a little taller, start paddling whichever direction looks like the best option to avoid bumps and bruises. My heart started pounding because the water was taking me to and fro with absolutely no control of direction or ability to avoid the rocks and trees. This is exactly how it feels when life throws us punches; you may get bad news from the doctor or have a disagreement with or lose someone you love, or your child goes rogue; all these things make us feel out of control. The only choice is to look for the best path to get through that moment and go through it. This is when I tend to pray the most and have to admit, I was praying Saturday too! There is fear of what may happen, but our only thing we can do is let the water (situation) run its course. With each new waterfall that we encountered on the river, I got a little better at preparing by holding my back up so the rocks did not scrape it and paddling away from the current right before I got to the most turbulent water. This is also like life in that we learn coping mechanisms. For me this is prayer, deliberate quiet time in the mornings, reading the Bible, thinking before I make decisions or not saying something I may regret. The very last waterfall on the river course was the worst with no way to plan which direction because the water was so fast. The only choice was to hold on and go. When you feel like you cannot handle anything else, you can only hold on to your faith and go; praying along the way and doing the best to stay focused on your faith in the midst of turmoil.🙏

Sometimes We Lose Special Things

On the last waterfall, Keith lost his shirt; which happened to be a custom shirt we had made with his name and a design of a guitar that he used to wear for gigs he played. My thought at that moment was why would you wear a shirt like that tubing? When thinking about this analogy of life being similar to floating the river, it brings to mind we need to enjoy what we love. If we never truly enjoy precious things in life because we may lose them, we never truly enjoy what is dear to our heart. Some do not love deeply because they are fearful they may lose that person. Life is short and need to enjoy those we love and take time to do what we love. I could quit running to avoid injury, but I love to run and cannot live in fear of maybe getting hurt. Same goes with relationships in the fact that we have to take a chance sometimes and trust a new friend or let our barriers down with a spouse without fear. Otherwise we would live with shallow relationships and have a sense of loneliness.❤

Sometimes We Have to Paddle To Get Where We Are Going

The last part of the river before our exit point was so slow we had to paddle tirelessly to get to the end. This is likened to days that feel like we are running through mud, can’t accomplish anything and everything is an effort. It’s so easy to give up and let the wind (trials) blow us the wrong direction, but we have to keep paddling to get to the finish line. This is the case in life’s long trials that seem to never have an end to them. I had chemo for six months in 2007 and then had to do it again in 2009. The second time the doctor told me he was going to “hit me hard” to make sure it never came back. It was so hard that I decided I wanted to quit with only three treatments left. I was so weak and tired and did not think it was worth it to finish the last few. At an appointment with my surgeon I told her my plan to forego the last few. She told me that if I was on the show Survivor that she would bet a million bucks I could win. At that moment, it was just what I needed to hear. I pulled myself together and just looked beyond my current feeling of complete defeat and just started looking at the six weeks ahead until I finished; picturing myself well and strong. I am coming up on 10 years from my first diagnosis and 7 years since that last chemo; and am CANCER FREE. What a blessing and how thankful I am to God and for the wonderful physicians and the family that was with me every step.

In summary, life is truly like a river that we make the choice of how we are going to go with the flow. For me, it is with God, family, friends and enjoying the things I love to do. In our sermon Sunday the preacher said we need to “Inform our emotions of our Faith”. Tell yourself when you are in despair that God is in control. 💪🏻

Below are a few pics of my recent weekend keeping four of my sweet granddaughters while my daughter and son-in-law went to Padre Island. It was an adventure and my heart was full from all the love.

Listening to Grumpy serenade

⛺️ Tent Time!
 Hallee Jo

About The Author

Pamela Mcintosh

I love to run and run to stay healthy. After cancer, I started running more and run a half marathon every year. My philosophy is “It is me vs. me.” I try to avoid getting caught up on how fast my time is, but do wish I was faster. Most importantly, just thankful I am healthy.