I have felt the resistance of the canoe paddle slicing through water a time or two. Sometimes I’ve even steered, j-stroking, dragging the paddle to turn, switching sides. The idea is to work with the river, with its currents and eddies and shallow bits and white water stretches. To get down river without capsizing, you must be attentive, flexible and aware of what’s ahead.
Many days when I “paddle my canoe” through life, I fuss about every little change in depth, unexpected rock, and swift current I’m not ready for, and I’m tense and worried
My 9yo son, born with Down syndrome, is very often the source of new and unexpected turns in the river. I feel like I can never be prepared enough when I’m on the river with him.
When I slow down long enough to ponder this, I love to imagine myself slipping into the water, buoyant and relaxed, as I trust the river to guide me. I have the choice to believe this is an option.
When my son and I drive somewhere, he often wants me to “Wook, Mom!” He simply does not understand how there could be any reason I can’t look back at him while I’m driving. I get frustrated when I sit rigidly in my “canoe” and wish wish wish he would stop asking me to look.
But to really embrace what is, I allow the river, and Kepler, to be what they are. I trust that his repeated asking for my attention is somehow the best thing that could happen to me. Saying yes to the fact of the asking ignites my creativity, and opens new doors of possibility. The genuine acceptance of his entreaties coexists with me slipping into that river, buoyant and relaxed, trusting.
What do you face in your life that you could begin to say yes to?