Perhaps I am a river spirit, trapped in a human body. This could explain my tendency to wander, seemingly aimlessly, at times with fervent passion and at others so calm and lazy as to appear still on the surface. I ebb and flow, I change direction. I provide for others with abundance, I dry up and lose hope. I am quietly babbling deep in the forest, unheard, and I am startling those who hear me rush loudly over the cliff edge. I cry—oh, how much I cry for so many things. My tears longing to be in the earth where they belong, longing to join one-another in a trickle that will slowly build to a stream and one day a raging river that cannot be ignored.
If I am a river spirit, then I have no gender. I am a river spirit, and I am deeply uncomfortable with the confines of this human body. I ache to love it and embrace it but deep down it just doesn’t feel right. I’m not meant for this fleshy vessel. I am meant to course my way around the earth, living in reciprocity with sky, allowing my surface to evaporate and contribute to clouds and then drink in their rain when they become too full. I am a conduit for the love between Earth Mother and Sky Father. Their love language is water. I am here to be part of its constant transmutation, it’s transmission from Sky to Earth and back again, a love story as old as my spirit but so, so much older than this body.
I am a river. And I am doing my best to be a human.
When I stand at a river’s edge, I feel at peace. The sounds of moving water lull me. I am pulled closer, tempted to slip below the surface. Days spent with summer sun on the skin of my face and cool water like ribbons wrapped around my body, delicately blurring the lines between my body and the water. Laying on smooth river rocks, submerged in the essence of my being, I feel at home.
When I stand where a river meets an ocean, my heart aches. I can’t quite name the emotions that bubble inside of me, but they are large and tug on me tremendously. Thinking of how far the river has come from the mountains beyond, through forests and across plains to finally, finally meet its family, the ocean. The sea, enveloping the river like a long-lost child. The waters mixing—cool and colder, fresh and brackish, clear blue and murky green—creating a special habitat where they mingle. To witness this is to witness one of the great miracles of life on Mother Earth. And I yearn to be among it.
One day, allow me to return, please. Bury me at sea, scatter my ashes on the glassy surface of river water that will soon meet the ocean. Let me mix with the molecules that are of me, let me return to the sky and fall back again, forever a part of this beautiful exchange of love.
I am a river. I cannot be contained.
For now, I will meditate on my place as a conduit for the love between Earth Mother and Sky Father. After all, I do drink Her waters; I exhale and sweat to return those molecules to the air. My feet tethered to the sweet Earth, my head prickling with connection to the vast Sky, I am simply between them. I am here to pass their love through me, to each other, and to all the other beings I share this Home with.
I am a river. I am a human. I am Love.