The Speed of the River

River Soar, Leicestershire

River Soar, Leicestershire

The speed of the river rushing past is like my life

Unstopping, pushing, silent

Each drop of water and each section, in front of me for a moment before moving on.

Swirls, eddies, circles and twists, but still a constant movement forward – relentless

The walked dog wishing to sit is like my soul.

Unmoved, determined, steady

His boy owner fighting a losing battle, pulling and insisting it was time to move on.

Time for a pet and a stroke and a word of admiration, before moving forward – reluctant

The river, like my life, rushing past.

The dog, like my soul, wishing to sit.

I wonder sometimes at the pace of my life. There are times when everything seems like a rush. I force the pace many times with a pressure to move on to the next thing and the next. Working as I do in education, the pressure to progress is intense. It is measured and weighted relentlessly. My most precious times are just ‘being’ with children. At the moment I am able to carve out a small part of the week, where we head out to a small wood. We have been going since the beginning of the year and now the children I work with are so comfortable in the space, that they are bringing their own agenda to the sessions – a very different pace of measured progress, perhaps? For example, one little girl who went of with a piece of string and came back with a pine cone tied to it. “A squirrel catcher! ” she informed me, with great pride and planned intention in her voice.

This poem came from a day I went out for a walk along the Donau Canal, Vienna and as I sat watching the water rush past me, a boy with a very single minded dog did indeed walk, or try to walk past me. However the dog was having none of it and no matter what his poor young owner tried, the dog resolutely sat waiting for a pet. He did eventually move on, but it gave me a chuckle. It reinforced the need and value in spending time with myself and with others. Quality time, slow time, time enough  to enable deliciously humorous, sweet, smiling moments to emerge, like squirrel catchers and cuddles!

It also reinforced my need to improve my German – which is seriously poor. You see I think in English and translate… that few seconds of hesitation, coupled with a lack of vocabulary are my undoing. The Austrians switch so easily between German and English, that I sit back with envy. Oh well all in good slow time maybe?
Back to the river, then!

The image is actually the River Soar in Leicestershire. I took a walk along it this January, when the light was golden, the air clean and clear and I made the time.