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Life is Like a Lazy River

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I felt like I was holding on by a thread after my husband’s heart attack. I found myself a caretaker while working a full-time job, dealing with our out-of-touch employer, editing my new manuscript for my publisher, keeping my radio show on the air and trying to pay the bills. Then the opportunity to spend a couple days floating on the Lazy River at a resort in Las Vegas presented itself.

Yes, it was in the hottest part of summer in Las Vegas, but anything was better than being in the office where I could not shake off my boss’ demoralizing words. I thought our performance for the last thirty years in his employ buffered us from the angst and vulnerability so many workers were feeling these days, but no. His reply to my query if my husband could expect sick leave during this health crisis kept echoing in my ears. “I don’t want to pay Roy for sitting home on the couch!” It took all my strength to refrain from hoping in his next life he came back as the guy who cleans out port-o-potties.

So we packed up the car and headed for Las Vegas and the Lazy River. Days of floating in quiet contemplation was just what I needed to recharge my batteries and have a moment to think about something besides stents, pills and doctors and how unappreciated I was feeling. At first the Lazy River just allowed, allowed, allowed me to just be, with no pressure. I could drift with no place to go but round and round, softly, gently, and quietly. Even the kids sharing the Lazy River were not a source of aggravation. It was peaceful and my brain could click off for a few hours.

As the hours turned into days, I began to feel like myself again and before I knew it the creative juices were flowing and this Lazy River became a source of inspiration.

Sometimes we can just float along in life, easily avoiding the chaos all around us, without having to put forth much effort to avoid turbulents. We see others around us going under but somehow we’ve managed to catch the current that just steadily pulls us along out of harms way. We may be lucky enough to continue like that for a bit but sooner or later we’re going to brush up against the rocks. We might even feel as if we're drowning as we are unable to avoid getting sucked beneath rapids and struggle to the surface gasping for air. If we’re lucky, in the next few times around the bend, we might be able to catch our breath. We feel lucky to maneuver ourselves away from the crushing weight of the waterfalls, large and small, we see along the journey.

As we go round and round, with each turn of the wheel, we learn to adapt. We try different positions to discern how to place ourselves so that we float along as stable as possible. We stretch and strengthen our muscles to avoid the rocks and waterfalls. We keep an eye on the horizon so we might manage to avoid chaos and not get stuck in log jams. We wear protective covering to ward off direct hits we might not avoid along the way. And sometimes, if we look for it, gifts present themselves during the struggle, and it is oh so important to embrace those moments in gratitude.  I am grateful.  I am grateful.  I am grateful.

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Karen Tate is a twice published author, ordained minister, social justice activist, national speaker and radio show host of the long-running Voices of the Sacred Feminine on Blog Talk Radio.  She was recently named one of the Top 13 Most Influential Women in Goddess Spirituality.

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