I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.
~ John O’Donohue from Conamara Blues
That’s my life right there, in seventeen glorious words, strung together the John O’Donohue way.
The image of the river, flowing, contained by its banks that may or may not hold, carrying on, receiving, reflecting, flooding and even drying up at times, being an integral part of an ever changing landscape, isn’t that right there how we live our lives?
When it comes to it, this lifetime has been flowing from one surprise to the next with barely enough time to catch my breath in between.
Today is a special day, a milestone anniversary kind of day. I find myself looking back and reflecting on how I arrived to this very moment.
I don’t remember every single detail and happening. Memories are playful things. Some are stubborn and refuse to give up the space they occupy. Others are gliding through and occasionally stop by to say hello. And, there are memories that, like chameleons, adjust and evolve as time passes. They show me that how I view a past event really depends on who I am in this moment and how far I’ve come in my personal evolution. What looked real and even painful thirty years ago is softened by life experience and an altered point of view thirty years later.
Today’s anniversary is a solid life event, the kind that changes one’s trajectory yet, for as solid as this event is, there’s nothing predictable about the way it has unfolded. It’s no wonder that when I came across John O’Donohue’s poem, it took my breath away.
What’s next, I wonder. What kind of surprise awaits around the bend?
I’m curious, what feelings and thoughts does this poem invoke for you?