Nearly six months ago I made a commitment to myself and my coach to walk with her to the riverside at our final coaching retreat. This past week I met that commitment. By many standards it wasn’t a long or difficult walk, but for me — at this time in my life — it was substantial. So, on a hot early summer morning, my coach and I, hand in hand, heading down the path to the river.
Not all experiences that have the potential to be landmark ones live up to their hype. This one did. In quiet beauty the woods and fields welcomed us as we walked. We stopped for a vivid, iridescent blue dragonfly. We gazed at an old barn through a field punctuated by two small trees dense with deep claret leaves. We listened to the hiss and burble of a creek tumbling down the same hill just out of our sight. We shared the space with shaded ferns, tiny mushrooms, wild jasmine and blue and yellow butterflies.
It was hot, I dripped sweat, body parts alternately ached and throbbed. I felt safe and beloved with my coach. The river beckoned and delivered on its promise of cool shade and clear, mountain water dancing over rocks and through patches of sunshine. An old wooden bench gave me welcomed rest and time to savor the accomplishment.
We practiced a tai chi exercise called the four flowers — and I learned the first pattern which was chrysanthemum. We felt the breeze, heard the far off deep rumble of a tractor and the high floating song of a bird. We returned up the steep and rocky path to the lodge. I felt satisfied, and both exalted and exhausted — a heady combination.
Thank you Wendy, for being a skilled, compassionate coach, and a loving friend.Take Me to The River Take me to the river. Take me by the hand and lead me from under the comfortable arbor of my fears. Take me to the river. Walk with me, stumbling, on a new path, still fettered by the stony present. Take me to the river. Talk with me about the shape and texture of the future, blooming, blooming, like a chrysanthemum in the sun.