The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus said:
“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
I totally understand what he’s saying… especially when I go kayaking on the Little Miami River, as I did yesterday morning. I’ve paddled it many times, going upriver for as long as my arms can stand it, and then floating back to my launch point at Otto Armleder Park. Each time, the river IS different – rain (or lack thereof), fallen trees and the constant current reshape it, creating new pools and riffles (they’re way too tame to be called rapids).
And if I’m not a different dude each time I first step into the river, I’m definitely a changed man within seconds. Somehow the current manages to wash away my worries, and I’m more attuned to the sights and sounds around me. I can always count on seeing a grey heron or three, but yesterday there was an entire flock of Canada Geese along the shoreline. I passed three middle-aged couples paddling ~7 miles down to the Ohio River. I saw someone fly fishing – he and his travel companion (still sleeping in his/her tree hammock) had paddled downriver and camped overnight. And I had plenty of alone time to ponder the mysteries of life.
The river is different. I’m different. But the positive feeling I get? That’s the same as it ever was.