The Slow Movement of Rivers

This is the Ohio River. Near mile 471 on its way from Pennsylvania to Illinois, where it empties to the Mississippi River. This is looking from Cincinnati to the river and some Kentucky countryside on the other side. This is a slow-moving barge working it’s way down the river with a little assist from the tug boat in the middle that offers some course correction around a few turns.

My colleague Quanita Roberson and I have finished hosting a five day online retreat for our Fire & Water program (next cohort begins in August 2021 for those of you interested). It was 25 people. So many layers of connection in small group and large group. So many layers of opening up to one another, interrupting the norms of isolation. So many layers of encouraging the long journey in people who have seen much life, yet yearn for something more in the journey.

With that retreat complete, we have learned that deliberate rest matters. It’s not finishing one thing and then jumping to the next. Well, sometimes it is that, unavoidably. But generally, we are deliberate about the spaces between. The spaces between that are “off screen” in the midst of “on screen” retreat. A couple of days to be slow in the days following a retreat.

So, for a couple of days now, I’ve been watching slow moving barges on the Ohio River. Fascinating. Watching navigation of wide turns. Seeing tug boats in cooperation and coordination. Listening to birds chirp and sing. Soaking in a hot tub.

The times on, in fast pace matter. The times off in slow turns also matter. I’m grateful.

2 Replies to “The Slow Movement of Rivers”

  1. Both/and.

    Today, I’ve been considering the word “ease.” What would dit look like to do “the hard thing(s)” with more ease?

  2. Thx Saoirse. Yup. To know that feeling of ease is important. May not be that way every day, but I want to know that feeling in my body. I appreciate your learning and commitment.

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