Sunday, September 09, 2007

Easin' Back to Work: River of Life

It has been awhile since I started the work week with an “Easin’ Back To Work” post. It used to be a regular feature on the Bus. With the Easin’ Back To Work series I tried to make a gentle transition from the relaxation of the weekend back to the workaday world. Our dear friend Lucy once told me that those were her favorite posts. I must admit that I enjoy them also.

The river has always been my favorite way to unwind and lose all of the daily concerns that can clutter an otherwise peaceful mind. I have read many writers use natural objects as a metaphor for life; tree of life, thread of life, ... For me, nothing symbolizes life more than a river.

We travel as the river. Starting small and peaceful, growing in knowledge and strength as we continue along our course. The river passes along quietly for most of its journey, yet can be full of fury and turmoil at times, only to emerge and continue its journey.

“Take everything as it comes; the wave passes, deal with the next one.” - Tom Thomson, 1877-1917

“Voyage upon life's sea, To yourself be true, And, whatever your lot may be, Paddle your own canoe” - Sarah Bolton

“Christopher Robin came down from the Forest to the Bridge, feeling all sunny and careless, and just as if twice nineteen didn't matter a bit, as it didn't on such a happy afternoon, and he though that if he stood on the bottom rail of the bridge, and leant over, and watched the river slipping slowly away beneath him, then he would suddenly know everything that there was to be known.” - A. A. Milne

Bill Staines - The River.mp3
Bill Staines is a long time favorite and required listening here on the Bus.

John Hartford - Gum Tree Canoe.mp3

Shelley Posen - S'Mores.mp3
A little bit of fun. Shelley Posen is a canoeist/singer/songwriter from Ontario. Visit to hear more and order CDs.

"Love many, trust few, and always paddle your own canoe." -unknown


Blogger kjk said...

being the city boy that i am, "lost on the river" is more my speed .... :)

September 09, 2007 10:05 PM  
Blogger pineyflatwoodsgirl said...

Well, you know I love the river! My favorite John Hartford song is
"On Christmas Eve"...."down on the river on Christmas eve...." HOoe your kayaking was as great as mine. Rise above the salt mine...another weekend is just next week....

September 09, 2007 11:34 PM  
Blogger Black Dog said...

It's true ED rivers have their own idea of things following their own path undiminshed if we don't get in the way. Many thanks for Shelly Posen. Great discoveries here.

Have a good week even though it's up-stream. Here's to a new job that moves in step with the current and keeps the info flowing on the OBBus.

all thoughts fly... k.

September 10, 2007 4:56 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

As a fellow River Rat you know that any time on the river is wonderful.

"Rise above the salt mine...another weekend is just next week...."
What a great sentiment!

September 10, 2007 6:12 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

I suppose "Deuling Banjos" would send chills down your spine :)

September 10, 2007 6:13 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Black Dog,
I first found Sheley Posen on the wonderful CD Canoesong Vol. II. His song "Canoeing My Troubles Away" is in regular rotation on my stereo.

September 10, 2007 6:19 AM  
Anonymous Lucy said...

Thanks Ed, I needed this. It's been a while since I've heard Bill Staines, what a soothing voice. I didn't do much kayaking or canoeing in my youth, but I was in our 13' sailboat every chance I had! Dad said when I was big enough to rig it by myself, I could take it out by myself. Missions accomplished by age 10; would have been sooner, but I didn't weigh much... back then!

Today's a tougher Monday than usual with little sleep last night. We thought Em was having her baby last night, but Gavin (the baby) had other plans. That would have been a great Grandparent's Day gift!

September 10, 2007 12:05 PM  
Blogger Louisa said...

I come here when I need some uplift, a little spirit boost, and you never fail to deliver. Found Bill Staines on iTunes, purchased album Bridges.

Thanks so very much for your site.

September 10, 2007 1:24 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Sounds as if you'll be entering grandmahood in no time flat. My best wishes for your youngun and her sprout.

I used to have a sail rig for an old canoe. Canoeing and sailing have much in common. My daughter wants to learn to sail, so a small sailboat may be soon be added to our family fleet.

September 10, 2007 2:09 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

You've made my day! Thank you for the kind words.

Bridges is a wonderful choice! Bill's comforting voice and joyful view of life are sure to lift the heaviest burden.

September 10, 2007 2:17 PM  
Blogger Monster Library Student said...

Blue Bus,

This was such a wonderful thing to read today. I am in total agreement with you. Being an English major, and now an-almost Librarian (December!!!) I always love nature references like that in literature...the idea of water especially. In both C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) and Tolkein's (LOTR's)there are many references to water being the thing that we cross over to a sense of peace, or the tool that takes us to something.
Thanks again! Love your post!

September 10, 2007 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoy your paddling stories with your family as much as I do the music histories. Thanks for sharing both.

My tiny sailboat was a Lido 14, which we took onto the ocean. Never losing sight of the shore, of course.

"Who is staring at the sea, is already sailing a little"

September 10, 2007 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Hi Ed,
Nothing, and I mean nothing, can calm the soul or get the juices going like the river. It can lull you to sleep, or scare the crap out of you with its rage. As you say, it is the ultimate metaphor for life.

September 10, 2007 5:53 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Monster Library Student,
You are right about the common symbolism of water in literature. It’s use in not limited to the written lines, it has been used for millennium in folklore and music. December, eh? Congratulations!

Our anonymous friend,
A 14 footer on the ocean? My hat is off to you my friend. -"Who is staring at the sea, is already sailing a little"- a great quote!

“Nothing, and I mean nothing, can calm the soul or get the juices going like the river.”
Of course, I can’t argue with that statement. One of the rules of paddling is to know your own capabilities as a paddler. When paddling an unfamiliar whitewater passage, one should scout the rapids and plan a safe path as well as escape and rescue routes. If one feels that the pass is beyond one’s skill, there is no shame in portaging. That rule has served me well when applied to all undertakings in life.

September 10, 2007 6:35 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

I have been trying to find "River" by Bill Staines for weeks now, and I've failed completely (that, and a number of others). It was a fluke that brought me to your site, but now I'll say. And thank you!!

September 13, 2007 6:42 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Welcome aboard the Bus, Liz. You'll find your fellow riders to be a varied, but friendly lot. As a fan of Bill Staines, you are in good company here.

September 13, 2007 8:03 PM  

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