“How would it feel,” I mused aloud as we hiked, “If you were part of this river; this river had been your identity your whole life, then suddenly – boom! You reach the sea. All of your river-ness gone.”
Kitty was thoughtful for a moment.
“Well, your river-ness wouldn’t really be gone,” she replied and I marvelled again at how this kid just *gets* my bonkers trains of thought every single time, “because you and your friends are all water. The waterfall’s water, the river’s water and the sea’s water. You’re just at different stages of the journey.”
Different stages of the journey. The idea gave me pause for thought.
We’d started our walk at the falls: they were spectacular and noisy and incredibly impressive.
We sometimes come crashing into our callings: we suddenly find the thing that makes us come alive and we feel on top of the world, because, yay – we’ve found it! The thing we were born to do. And it couldn’t feel more amazing.
But then we join the river; because that crashing waterfall ride can’t last forever.
And we can feel a little nostalgic for those heady, excited early days of that thing that we felt led to do.
We’re still showing up – doing all the leg work – but it’s disconcerting, because we can still hear the waterfall, only it’s not us making the noise anymore.
And the river journeys on. And on.
We wonder why our hearts desires aren’t being heard; we wonder if this is it for us now. It’s fine and lovely, but it’s also such safe, familiar territory that we can’t help but feel there must be more.
Only we don’t recognise that all this time we’ve been making significant progress: we forget how much ground we’re covering through experiences and mistakes, regrets and lessons learned.
Who we are is changing; we’re being prepared for what’s to come and that takes time.
We may never get back to the joyous, youthful glee of our waterfall days, but if we stop to look around us right now, we’ll notice that our rivers have significantly widened.
And then suddenly – perhaps when we’re least expecting it – we’re there: at the very edge of the ocean itself.
Ready to rush over the pebbles and into the next stage of our journey: a wild, exhilarating ride into the unknown deeps, unlike anything we’ve ever dreamed of.
Expansive, limitless powerful and wild: this joy was worth the journey.