Community – a river flowing through

I am unique. I am gifted with substance and meaning. So are you. We are also unique in the  beauty that forms when we are together, in community. This mysterious complexity flows through all life as a curious river that just seems to “run through”. It’s mysterious, as it frequently disappears only to re-appear some unexpected place a few moments later in the journey. We all contribute to this flow. I believe its presence is a gift that invites me to know that existence is greater than I. I am part of something vast. Something that has purpose and meaning. Something that invites me to be fully immersed in who I am to release the wonder of who we all are together. Yet, it seems that many of us seemingly remain unaware of its presence as it carries us through the emerging circumstances of our travel through time.

The river contributes to our conscious reality and yet mysteriously also breathes with us. Our conscious reality is always contributing and interacting with all others as we walk down the pathways of time. While living as individuals, we also share life with so much of what is  in our “moment” around us. My experience and your essence somehow share vitality in ways which are life giving and life changing.

As I pause to breathe and be in the moment, I often become more aware of it’s presence.

I see it in the unspoken communion of love, that flows from a circle of compassionate intimacy, somehow transferring “substance” to a friend walking through the shattering discovery of cancer. I hear it in the expansive giggle of a child that opens smiles in a crowd of busy preoccupied shoppers. I feel it in the gathering of hopeless eyes as they are drawn to drink from a well of hope, in a set of hands that reaches out to help them remember themselves. In acknowledging it, I sense something vital

Some people just seem to live forever thirsty, drawing from all around them in an unconscious vacuum. Their fear of the river has led them to ignore its very presence. Yet their need of the river pulls in its essence, everywhere they travel. Unfortunately, its very flow seems to by-pass them in their denial. They drink, but never seem to be replenished, its flow simply slashing past their insulated safety and denial.

Others seem unconscious of the river in a different way. They seem to be so connected that they almost seem to be the river, yet they are not. They are spontaneous and effervescent in their transparency. Freely giving and joyously receiving the wonder of being in each moment with the treasure of all that it contains, they seem to flow without a seeming tangible need to define its presence.

I have seen men, in fear valiantly resisting the river. They are aware of it’s power and force. Their triumph seems to be in their capacity to stand in the midst of tis flow and not have their reality shifted by its forceful demand. They define themselves by the island they have made to force the river around their place in community.

Other people seem to fear the river as they have never be able to be touched by the river without its flow sweeping their feet from under them in the amazing currents of life, leaving them drowning and unable to breathe in their own reality. Being aware and loving the river yet,never having learned to participate in the river without losing themselves.

Yet through it all, together, in all our challenges and surprises, we are creating a fluid space for our selves and our children. As beings with an essence bigger than we can imagine, we have the capacity to influence our future through intentionality. Our choices to give into that which builds up hope and identity in each other can create beautiful patterns in our river. We can shift things so much if we but choose to become more aware of the wonder of being together in this mysterious journey.

Author – Bill Tidsbury