When I want to leave the world behind I don fishing waders and head to the Kinnickinnic River near River Falls Wisconsin, gingerly tip toe into the water, and do a little fly fishing. When I was first learning to fly fish, I thought my finny friends were probably hiding in the river’s rapids, so I’d toss my fly into the roiling water. No dice. Trout aren’t dumb. It’s too much effort to fight the rushing water. They prefer to hang out in calmer pools at the end of a run of rapids or among smaller riffles, shallower water that’s moving over rocks.
The fish are smarter than I am.
With stay at home orders, I thought my life might slow down but right now, as an “essential employee” I’m waist deep in the roaring waters of a pandemic and I’m trying to keep my balance so I don’t fall in. It’s been very busy. I’m splitting time between our downtown St. Paul radio studio and my home studio. There are several Zoom interviews and meetings each day, check-ins on friends and family and generally attempting to live a healthy life in an utterly disruptive, all encompassing, constantly changing, confusing time where an obvious end to this isn’t evident.
I know I’m not alone. It’s safe to say we’re all waist deep in a roaring river of grief, anxiety, fear and ambiguity. It’s exhausting and it’s difficult to keep your footing. Here’s the good news. There are quiet pools of peace and calm that we can access. They are within each of us. We can choose to slow down and savor what is good and appreciate what we have now.
When this ends, and it will, maybe we’ll find the “normal” we were used to really wasn’t and going forward, we will use the lessons of this time to decide just how we really want to live. Remember, you’re never in the same water twice when you’re in a river. Everything changes and this too shall pass.