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Drowning in Metaphor

Drowning in Metaphor

The river water was clear, clean and deep, the weather hot. Aberdeenshire was a gentle place that summer, the countryside of Monymusk, lush and green. I was staying with friends, of friends. They owned this stretch of river. The kids all learned to swim here in its pools and runs with its stretches of stillness and brown peaty deeps. Lazing along at the end of the paddock, it seemed a docile family pet. I slipped in and thought I might practise my only stroke. Wow! My speed had improved!

I didn’t know I was in trouble till I heard the shouting, the children running along the bank waving their arms. I turned in the water, seeing how far I had come. It had nothing to do with my swimming.

Metaphorically, socially and literally I was in over my head. “She’s never swum in a river before.” No indeed but it was more perilous than that because I had learned in a municipal pool with sea water pumped straight from the Firth of Forth. Fresh water, to my horror was proving a different beast.

With the bend approaching and deep water I had to find a foothold. Somehow I did and beached myself gasping on a shingle bank. Exhausted but safe I was still out of my depth, however, never having swum in a family owned river. Docile pet indeed.

This morning, in the shower, the metaphorical truth of that day came to me. Water. And the forces that work upon it to support, teach or sweep us away. Gravity pulls us down. Bouancy holds us up. Whether we descend or rise in water is a balance of skill when immersed and wisdom to get into it, or not, in the first place. But then we too are — what percentage? — water. Water needs respect but how much more the forces that work upon it? And while we may learn to swim in all waters, so are we a mix of salt and fresh and tides and currents, deeps and eddies too.

You are a Force of Nature!

You are a Force of Nature!

You wouldn’t argue with a force of nature, would you?  You couldn’t argue an avalanche into a change of course or cajole a bolt of lightning not to strike. You couldn’t, by argument, stop the Aurora Borealis doing its thing. Things of that kind happen and, if you’re lucky, they roll right through. If you’re really lucky, you watch; you stand and stare. But what about you? What are you doing with the forces within you? You are a force of nature, are you not?

The force within, through and around you, can’t be argued with. It is perfect. It may not be responding the way you want it to but that force will have the last word in any confrontation you start. So what’s the answer? What’s the question?

“Why is everything such a struggle?”

Whatever way your energies are driving you, that’s where you’re heading. If you want to be grabbing that helm any time soon, you’ll need to be getting in touch with what’s grabbing you. And if what’s grabbing you is pulling in the opposite direction, well … put it this way, the helm is only responding to what the heart and mind are telling it.  Heart and Mind. Two forces that need to pull together.

Get in agreement with yourself. You are a force of nature. You wouldn’t argue with that, would you?