Lessons From the Adventure River

The cool water bubbled up over my shoulders as the sun warmed my face. My husband and I were lying in inner tubes, riding the Adventure River at our campground in South Carolina.

This is our life right now. We sold our house in Maine in September and have been living in a small camper and traveling around the country ever since. At our current campground, the bathrooms blast a soundtrack that reminds me of a middle school dance. The guests drive everywhere in golf carts. And something laid an egg under our camper.

Life is an adventure.

And that brings me back to the Adventure River.

We floated. Sometimes we hit a fast current and whipped around a corner and sometimes we found ourselves in the doldrums, going nowhere. But mostly we just floated, slowly and steadily.

Just like life. Sometimes, we’re in the flow and things feel easy; we move smoothly towards our destination. Other times, it feels like we’re going nowhere. And yet most of the time, we are moving forward, slowly and steadily.

Sometimes the current on the Adventure River pinned us against the wall or beached us on the stairs. We’d simply turn ourselves around and push off, heading back into the river at a different angle.

Again, just like life. Sometimes we hit a wall or get stranded and lose our momentum. When that happens, we accept the pause, assessing our situation and choosing a new angle from which to launch.

Sometimes the Adventure River dumped water down on us from above, other times, water bubbled up from jets down below. Still, we kept floating, just colder and wetter—and maybe a little more wary.

Just like life. Sometimes we’re following the path we’ve chosen, and life drops something on us that makes us uncomfortable. And yet we keep going.

On the river, we watched a boy in a blue and yellow life jacket kick hard against the current to reach a tower of three inner tubes stacked on top of one another. He went nowhere despite his effort, but grasped desperately at the air trying to urge the tower closer. And when the tower finally reached him, it toppled onto him.

Again, just like life. We can kick against the current. We can work ourselves into a tizzy. We can attach ourselves to an ideal and fight for it frantically. Or we can let it be easy and go with the flow.

My husband and I laughed as we walked back to our camper. We’d been that boy last week. We’d been spinning our wheels, desperately trying to attach ourselves to something. We’d gone nowhere and felt like a pile of inner tubes had tumbled onto us.

But now we’re on the other side. Not reaching. Not grasping. Just being. Allowing ourselves to be in the present moment and flow wherever life takes us.

Now it’s your turn. Where are you in this adventure? Are you flowing with ease? Are you bouncing off the sides? Have you become stranded and are figuring out how to push off in a new direction? Are you looking like a drowned rat, but still moving forward?

Come on over to my new free Facebook Group: Own Your Awesome and share your journey.