River Metaphor for Life

 The river relates to life in these ways:

   -Cathy Carr

How is the River a Metaphor for Life?

 As the river travels through its course, it goes through various stages.   Sometimes it slowly meanders among painted cliffs and at other times it rushes madly through rocky canyons.  Similarly, throughout life there are times when you can sit back and enjoy your surroundings and blessings, and others when time rushes by, and you just try to survive the craziness.

 In a river there are many places that are all very different where water may be.  Water in an eddy is still and swept out of the mainstream.  Many times in life it may seem as though you are stuck in an eddy.  You may not be making visible progress, or you may not know what direction you want your life to take.  Possibly you just need to take a break from your busy life to look around.  Whatever happens, you can always get out of an eddy when you are ready.  Water in a rapid is moving fast and foaming.  Sometimes life can seem as though it is rushing by, and you just need to enjoy it while working hard to bypass obstacles such as rocks and whirlpools.  Water can also be in the swiftly moving current or moving slower along the banks.  At different stages throughout life you may need to stay in the current to keep progressing while at other times you can relax and travel more slowly.
Like cobbles in a river, as people journey through life, they bump against each other and meet.  As cobbles hit each other while traveling through the river, they help determine each others' final forms.  Similarly, as people meet one another, they influence each others' opinions, emotions and knowledge, thus shaping a person's character.  This happens all throughout life with people as it occurs through the entire expanse of the river with cobbles.  Similarly, like stones in a river we are tossed and turned as the current moves us along.  Every day of our lives we encounter more struggles that shape our lives and make us who we are.  The trials of our lives shape us until all of our edges are gone, and they allow us to become what we want to be.

 Throughout the river there are places where the river bends that you can't see around.  In life there are often times when you can't see what the results of certain actions and decisions that you make will be.  However, despite your uncertainty, when you round the bend you find more beauty and majesty waiting for you to enjoy it.  Happiness in life is determined by the degree that you enjoy it, and not by your situation.  If you spend all of your time anticipating the wonderful moments of tomorrow you miss the moments of today.  On the river, you can spend all of your time straining to look around the next bend or you can enjoy the beauty around you and eventually you will have the opportunity of enjoying the next stretch of river.

 When you are on the river you often come across a divided path.  Although each path is different, they both end up leading to the same place.  In life we also have choices to make which may lead us down different paths.  However, if you maintain your integrity and live your life according to your standards, you will end up where you are supposed to be, no matter what path you take.  As we have floated down the river these past couple days, I have learned to enjoy each new moment of the trip.  I think that this is also a good lesson for life.  Every new day you should strive to make your best day by keeping your mind open and your heart grateful.

-Kristie Aamodt