Saturday, April 4, 2015

Meditations on the Creek

It was an early spring morning as I sat to read, pray and meditate as I watched the beauty of the creek behind my house.  In that one moment I saw myself in the creek and my family in the  River.  The creek is a tributary of a major river near my house and my house sits at the end of the creek.  I realized  that the creek had an end and the only way out of that end was for it to flow back into the river.  That was my life.  My family was the river.  There were definite boundaries to me and my brother’s life experiences that identified me as a member of this family, but sometimes I decided to veer off from the river.  The beauty of my parents is that they let me do that, but I always found myself flowing back into the river of my family. My parents never judged me or made me feel I was less than my brother because my grades were not as good as his or my interests were not like his (or anyone else’s).  They welcomed me back and celebrated my adventures with me.  My river, my family was a safe place but school was not.  Most of my school years from preschool until almost 12th grade there was such a feeling of discouragement.  I could not fit in.  I could not understand.  Learning was difficult and I felt no one understood how I learned…not even myself.  I never could “make the grade” and I did not seem to know how I could.  That early spring morning as I looked at Swan Creek, I realized that schools should also flow like a river. A child’s learning should take place within a definite boundary, but within those boundaries, learning should be free to flow for the child and the child should feel free to veer off from time to time in her own tributary. They will naturally come back to the river, as I did.  Once they understand how they individually fit into the confines of the riverbank. When they do return, their adventure should be celebrated and validated as a legitimate learning and enriching experience that is unique to that learner. They will come back to the river, because the river flows into the ocean and our learning life from preschool to 12th grade prepares us for the ocean of society or the world.  We all have to go there in our own way and in our own time.  There's no escaping that.  The current is too heavy to hold us still.  We do not thrive in a dam, but we flow in a river headed to the ocean of life.  What we do with the river determines how we survive the “wild blue yonder” of the ocean or the world. This was the one revelation I received as I meditated on creek that early spring morning.

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