Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Kern River Trip With Family And Friends~

The first river you paddle runs through the rest of your life. It bubbles up in pools and eddies to remind you who you are.
~Lynn Noel

For those of you who have known me in my pre-Santa Barbara Days...I spent many blissful years living and working on rivers. For nearly five years I worked as a park ranger, a commercial river guide, and as an Outward Bound Instructor (yes, I made many young teenagers occasionally cry but was compassionate all around!) throughout the American West (California, New Mexico, Utah/Colorado, the border of Texas and Mexico, and along the border of Minnesota and Canada.

Those were some of the best years of my early adulthood...seasons spent running rivers, living out of tents and tupperware, living into the strength of my body, pushing my physical and psychological comfort zones, basking in the intense desert heat, and living as a nomad through the winters when I traveled throughout Latin America and Australia.

It is true that you can never step into the same river...twice. The same goes with revisiting those years lived on and along the river. But like any river rat, the river continues to have a sweet spot in my heart with deep roots. I still have occasional midsummer night dreams of navigating whitewater in some foreign wilderness. And every time I visit the river I am a different person living out a whole new chapter of my life...but yet the river remains some constant unchangeable force.

I was fortunate to recently return to the river on an incredible trip with family and friends. Although it has been years since I went down the river and even longer since I gave an impromptu "safety talk" or lesson on reading whitewater, it felt so encouraging to know I still had the chops! All those skills came immediately back. I was in absolute heaven being on the water again. My heart sings on the water and I feel like I am home again...all the rivers seem to be one and to contain the same fluid energy.

I'm so grateful to the Abbeys for putting together another Amazing Trip and to the rest of the Rousseau Clan and to my friends Richard and Michele for making the weekend into such an amazing trip! I can't wait to go back to the river and the Sierras with good friends and family~

Life continues to move quickly along...at sometimes speeding up...but when I'm on the river, something seems to have stayed the same if only for a brief moment in time.