• Bliss Wood

I Know How The River Feels

My baby sister is getting married this fall and asked me to sing for her wedding! First, I'd like to congratulate her on her upcoming nuptials, and for allowing the river of life, through all of its rapids and eddies, to bring her to the sweetest place of communion with her beloved.

Congratulations, Sis!

For months, I wondered what song would be perfect for Jeni and Dan. I'd run a few of the standard "wedding songs" by them, usually with a tepid response, and a realization that I didn't really like those choices anyway. It had to be something perfect for two people who have already experienced so much of life's highs and lows on their own, yet somehow, stumbled upon each other in the middle of their own personal journeys.

Starting to have a minor panic attack, realizing that we hadn't come up with anything and the wedding being less than 2 months away, I've been hooking up my iPod (yes, I have an original iPod) and hiking through the woods, clicking through my enormous song list! The other day, as I clicked through the "country" category and literally walked through a flock of Bluebirds that I stirred up by the creek, I Know How the River Feels began playing in my ear...

"I know how the river feels / when it reaches the sea / and finally finds a place / it was always meant to be..."

Bingo! Sometimes the Universe orchestrates so poetically what we're feeling before we can even name it. I Know How the River Feels is a song, first recorded by Ty Herndon in 1999, that gently croons the powers of never giving up on your hopes and dreams, even when all outward signs try to convince you otherwise. Ultimately, this is a story about two people who find each other after "searching every heart" through "miles of loneliness", nearly giving up, but allowing themselves to go with the flow of their lives into the great unknown. In doing so, their separate journeys collided to create a bigger river of love and hope together.

Even if you're not looking for the perfect wedding song at the moment, this 20th century ballad speaks to anyone who feels out of control or stuck in their life. I don't know about you, but 2017 has been a bit of a challenge for me and for many of my clients and friends. Life feels like we're pushing against walls and drowning in quicksand at times. Many of us are wondering what happened to cooperation among colleagues, friendly discussions with friends, and freedom to speak our truth without being polarized against our neighbor! What has really happened? Could it be that our river beds have gone a little dry and the flow of life has come to a screeching halt with overpowering fear of the unknown and too rigid expectations of what life "should" be?

I don't know about you, but I want to know how the river feels! I want to float down that lazy stream and kayak through some exhilarating rapids, trusting that life is unfolding just as it should. I want to know that my "good work" is enough, and my open heart is ready and able to receive love from all directions. "How does one do that" you might ask? All we have to do is let go of the river bank and float into the current of life, sometimes calm and other times raging. Either way, the river takes us on an amazing journey! Even in the middle of world chaos, family feuds, and our own personal queries, life continues to flow, moving us forward, toward the sea of our hopes and dreams, "and finally finding the place we were always meant to be..."

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