She was never one to walk in a straight line. Wandering suited her life tempo. You could describe her thinking process that way too, as she much preferred to allow her mind to drift into creating whole scenes of possibilities inside her head.....multi-sensory scenes fed by the flurry of interactions which made up her days. More often than not, she kept them to herself. Every once in a while, she would share them with people who were open to listening, open to believing that truth requires a broader leap than even faith.
When she combined her wandersteps with her straying mind there was no telling where she would end up. Maps confined her. Routines bored her to a point where she would feel suffocated by the deadening air of predictability. No, straight line ambling made her feel out of touch much more so than the freedom of embracing the mystery of an unveiled meandering. For it was then that she fell in touch with her faith.
Some would describe her as an anchorless nomad, who wasted time. Flaky and terminally beyond practical matters were their opinions. Others found her unconventional manner beguiling and wished they could trade their own life trappings for one amber taste of a free flowing spirit. As much as they were captivated, however, they were tentative about whether they truly wanted to know how vast the realm of the unknown was. Some seemed to accept her ways without question. But most people didn't even notice her. For them, she was an invisible human being whose life never really mattered in their own lives.
Interestingly, she noticed them.
For those who paid attention, they all agreed on one aspect. She was a river girl. It suited her to be close to unstill waters that drifted from a mystical source. They could see how much they were the same; how her spirit blended in with the spirits present in the moving currents which created new patterns as it flowed in its unfolding, and cascaded freely towards the open tidal bay. The same description applied to her. Like the river, her journey was full of surprises. Her life steps complimented the character of the river and in fact it was where she preferred to meander.
Nothing triggered the broadening of her imagination than a visit to listen to the cold water echo nuances. On most days, you'd see her standing along its banks, or sitting under a weathered old maple looking down stream, lost inside her dreams. Sometimes when no one in her family needed her attention, she would set off for a short walk and end up stipstepping along the path until the sun went down...... the sure sign that she had once again lost track of time.
"A rambling stroll down to the river was like greeting a kindred spirit," she often said upon her return. Hardly anyone understood what she meant, but that didn't bother her. She was comfortable in her own shoes, with her own beliefs. It was her truth.
Strangely, or maybe not, her favourite time of year to filter the clarion sighs of the river was in the dead of winter........ in February when the bitter winds nipped reminders of hallowed stories muffled through winter shadows. At this time of the year, when the world was as quiet as a deep sleep, her whole being was captivated by a sense of being vibrantly alive.
When the climate was just right, she could grasp the river sounds aching in grumpy indignation. Her flesh felt pierced by the river's icelips leaving shivers under her woolen bravery. It was like the river held onto its stories like a holywell holds onto tears and wishes until the silence pervaded the last surface rippling. It was only then that there was enough trust to reveal its true identity.
Like a few others, the river girl instinctively knew when the long winter shadows formed along the riverbank, then and only then did they reveal their deeply held secrets. This never happened during the summer months. Shadows in July are used simply as shade against the heat of the light flowing day. Shadows in February, however, breathe an ancient hunger, through frosty voices which scrape against their brittled courage.
Their legends held the ingredients needed to awaken her ability to inhale the truth held beneath the frozen valley, and to fuel her awareness that she was exactly where she belonged............ part of the legacy of life surprisingly unfolding as it should.