“Stand through life as firm as a rock in the sea,
undisturbed and unmoved by its ever-rising waves.”
-Hazrat Inayat Khan
Today I find myself reflecting on a goose I observed recently on the river.
In general, boats seem to be traveling faster this year than they have in the past. I’m not certain that’s actually the case, but it has been my perception. Some of them leave behind significant wakes that crash their way to shore. Some days, I’m fine with that and paddle into the turbulence with peace or a sense of adventure. Other days, I am more easily annoyed by the “rude” boaters who do not slow down for courtesy’s sake when passing kayakers.
I realize I cannot control the speed of the boats, only my reaction to them and the skill with which I navigate rough waters.
One afternoon, I was returning to our dock when a motorboat came zipping along, creating some turbulence in the water. Although I had gotten into a very peaceful state of mind on the water, I became aware of a wave of irritation arising in me.
After navigating the turbulence, I watched the waves crash into the shore up ahead and observed a single adult goose floating peacefully on the water. Although the turbulence was approaching the goose, the goose stayed completely calm and unruffled and floated effortlessly up and over the waves in stillness, as if not phased by it in the least. It didn’t fly away, stretch out its wings, or squawk. I watched that goose float calmly and gracefully up and over each wave and continued to watch it after the water became calm once again.
|Tail end of the turbulence from the motorboat’s wake
The goose circled around the dock, where I was sitting at this point, and then continued up the river. I watched it for as long as I could, drinking in the centered stillness of goose energy, and allowing the image to burn into my memory so I may call upon it to help me navigate the rough waters of life with so much grace.
I appreciate and am inspired by how so many animals seem to know instinctively not to waste their energy on what is ultimately small stuff!
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