The River ride

I love the river ride

The smooth gentle river gentle giggling beneath my canoe

The view of the Stag and Doe on river bend with twin fawn

Delicate chirps, sultry hued wing beats

Summer air swirls

Mist meets sun beam dusts air

My guide who leads this tour stops paddling

I look over the side of canoe sitting still for a moment

For I am passenger

I see the micro circle of fish lips peek through surface

Catching a taste of my world

The tour begins again

I do not even need to paddle

I lean back and close my eyes

The sun warms my cheeks and hair

I drift into a momentary slumber

I awake to the river current picking up pace

Guide nods to me and I smile and commence to paddle

Swiftly stroking the waters

Wind envelops bringing breeze of sweet release

I focus

We are effortless

However

The water does not still

It speeds.

We reach a fork in the river

Each split similar

Guide asks for choice

I gasp

What? But you’re guide! What if…

No time, Guide asks for choice

I bring up a shaky finger, eyes wide I point forward

We shift just in time to accomplish

My eyelids refuse to close

Senses heightened

I hear a rush in the distance

Sounds is magnified

Heart races

We paddle in silence

The water is beginning to take on a dance of passion

Frothy

Faster

I squint ahead

No.

No, no no no no no no!

I scream, Rapids! We’re heading towards rapids!

Oh my god why did I choose rapids!

Guide is silent

I panic, Well, how in the world could I know it was rapids oh my god!

I just stuck out my finger!

I’m furious, Why did you let me stick out  my finger?

Guide says firmly- Focus.

I breath I paddle

The rapids are nearing

The water is beginning to race

We make a sharp turn to avoid a bobbing log

My paddle catches between two rocks underwater

My paddle snaps and nearly pull me off the canoe with the force

My arm is in agony

My paddle is broken

The rapids near

Oh my god I’m going to die.

There is NO WAY Guide can handle this alone

I’ve killed us both

I can’t steer

I hold stick with splintered end in hand.

I know, I’ll spear myself with it, yes

Then Guide will not have to deal with my weight and will survive

Yes, yes, this is the answer! It must be!

I grin maniacally nodding

Wait, what? Self annihilation does what now?

That’s it, I’m getting off the canoe

Let’s leave the canoe! I say to Guide, we can still make it!

Guide firmly says- Sit.

It’s too late to think anymore

We’re here

I hold onto stick firmly shaking

I scream as we enter

It’s all so fast

Water slices my face

The canoe slams into a boulder

Guide stays steady

My body is shoved against a rock

A deep dip, twists turns

The canoe flips

As it flips there is a frozen panic moment

I’m going to drown

I see nothing but bubbles

There is only confusion

Guide makes a powerful shove and we are back on surface

I’m coughing violently gasping for breath

There isn’t a moment to think we are rushing towards another deep dip

I realize the stick is still in hand gripped hands bleeding

I have this tool and it may be broken but I will make it work

My eyes narrow in concentration

I use my tool to shove away from rocks

I let Guide maneuver as I clear our path from where I sit

Drenched

Focused

I stop thinking

I feel my body

I do not resist the rapids

I let them move me

I move with each dip

Each thrust

Anticipate surprise

Meet it in kind

With one final dip, we are through.

Guide unscathed

Canoe intact

We ride the current

Shock wears off and I relinquish stick to the river

Guide brings us to shore

I pick splinters out of my hand and rinse off

I look back at the rapids with a stillness, respect, awe and honoring.

I sit still gazing at it’s glory as I say to Guide

Do you know the other river bends? Were they the same?

Guide makes fire to cook cans from bookbag

Guide says, They will never be the same even if the eye says so.

The rush of the rapids running through my veins

I race through the woods until dinner.

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