Down the River of TIme

While driving back from Arizona, we were listening to classical music on Public Radio when they said they were going to play a piece called “Down the River of Time.”  Both Karen and I noted the title and almost simultaneously said that would make a wonderful metaphor for a blog.  Since most of my blogs on time deal with metaphors, (Do you remember the difference between an analogy, a simile and a metaphor?) we thought it would be a good subject for a blog. 
Of course, the most obvious metaphor for this topic is that we are all on a river of time.  Some of us are on long rivers, some of us on short rivers.  Some of our rivers are very rocky, shallow and rapid and some of our rivers are deep and wide and placid.  Perhaps some of us are on rivers with many twists and turns and they may go from placid to wild and rough.  Other rivers we are on may have unexpected obstacles that arise causing us to suddenly capsize.
If you have spent your life on a wide tranquil river, it would be very difficult for you to appreciate anyone coming from a rough whitewater style river.  The converse is also true.  Maybe that is why it is difficult to walk in anyone else’s shoes.  We are all on different rivers and it is hard to understand the perspective of someone whose river is one we have never paddled.  At this point, you might say “Well, I disagree, life is simply one vast river and we all have rocks and logs and whitewater to manage.”  Maybe so. 
When we are very young, our parents do the paddling for us. As we become teenagers we decide we want to paddle alone.  Some of us go to school to learn how to paddle and navigate.  Perhaps learning a language helps us to navigate foreign rivers.  Some of us leave our first river and go far away to try a new river.  Many of us will switch rivers in our lifetime and attempt more challenging ones.  As we get older, the paddling gets harder and we need to rely on others more for help.  Eventually, there will come a day when we are too old and infirm to paddle anymore.  At this point, we may have to depend entirely on someone to do the paddling for us.  Some of us will have a difficult time letting go of the paddling chores.
You might ask yourself today what kind of a river are you on now?  What kinds of rivers have you navigated in the past?  Have you had many rocky or obstacle strewn stretches in your river?  Have you ever capsized but managed to get back in?  Do you have a lifejacket in the boat with you?  Are you paddling solo or do you have a partner?  Have you become a better paddler over the years? If not, why?  What will it take for you to continue down the River of Time and continue having fun and enjoying the ride?  

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