Sometimes currents take you places you don’t expect.
Last summer I spent a long weekend with friends in New York City. I was there to cheer lead my friends as they swam the length of the Brooklyn Bridge in the East River as part of NYC Swims. All three are strong swimmers and all three were not able to complete the race—along with about one third of all of the swimmers who were part of the race. An unexpected current came about, making dangerous conditions for the swimmers. The event was cancelled mid-way through and the swimmers were plucked out of the East River and brought close to shore where they swam the last 200 yards. My friends were initially disappointed and then grew to appreciate the adventure they just had and that all of the swimmers were safe. Under different conditions, the swim could have been finished by all—in fact in previous years, had been finished by all. This year was different. The current took them to a place they did not expect. With a story to tell from the adventure along the way.
I find myself reflecting…where are the currents of my life taking me? I have not written in my blog for a while because of unexpected currents. The currents have swept me away to places where writing in my blog has had less importance. Writing actually was painful. A sick son who has needed my attention. The death of my ex-husband—a man who has been sick with Parkinson’s Disease and who I cared for even long after our divorce. A new position in a Charter School with work I love and a commute longer than I anticipated. All of these currents have swept me away from the course I thought my adventures would bring me these past few months. And as I have struggled with the current, some of the activities I love that feed me have not been able to be nurtured.
The swirling of the waters continue. And momentarily I have been plucked out of the water, with time and space. Like my friends in the East River, who had bruises and cuts from being pulled by the current to a wall where they clung, waiting to be picked up, I have my bruises too. I am experiencing a weariness, not like me. Or perhaps it is a mourning. They are bruises that need tending and that will heal with time. Like my friends, who were picked up by the coast guard and brought to a safe place to be dropped back into the water to swim to the shore line, I, too, have been buoyed by friends and family who have supported me along the way. And are watching as I now swim toward the shore in safer waters.
The mourning and sadness will change to appreciation and gratitude. And, I must say, even in the mourning and sadness, I recognize my life with appreciation and gratitude. The currents of life change, moving through moments of deep sadness and exhilaration. All currents have a story to tell. Like my swimmer friends, whose adventure was not what they expected and excitedly talk about the next swim, I, too, will dive into the water, knowing the next current will take me to a new place with a new story to tell and an adventure along the way.