“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there someday.” Winnie the Pooh & A.A. Milne

It was bound to happen. After two full weeks of staying home, knowing now that I shall not return to work, I began to look around me and take stock of the house. Little things that I would like to do, little things that need to be done, and little things that I need to send on to new homes. It was pretty easy going. I tackled each room before moving onto the next: starting with my bathroom, moving through the master bedroom, coasting through the living room, breezing through the yoga room, and sighing through the kitchen.

As my body moved to an old familiar rhythm, I began to take stock not just of my home but of my soul. I felt like the old hymn writer: It is well with my soul.

I’ve always loved the river. I suppose growing up in Evansville where the Ohio River is so dominant has a lot to do with it. I loved to sit and watch it flow past. My high school sat high on a hill over the river and I remember lots of chats standing on the sidewalk, looking out over the bowl, waiting for buses, and looking toward to the river.

I always hoped the river would take me somewhere far away: to a better place, a better life, a better me.

I hadn’t yet learned that everywhere I go, there I am. I would learn that, but not in that place. I married young (but happily) and Kelly joined the Air Force. Where the river wouldn’t take me the Air Force did. I saw so many amazing things. I did so many amazing things. I lived in the most incredible places. I lived in the most uninspiring places. I met the most extraordinary people. I met the most ordinary people.

30 years later . . . the Ohio River is my neighbor again. It is the same river, but a different city. I can bike there, or drive there, or hike there. I like knowing that the stream that runs through this land runs into a creek which runs right into the river.

I have learned to be gentle with myself. I have learned patience. The urge to run — to drift — has passed. I know, like the river knows, that I shall get there someday.


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