Clash of Concepts

November 22 – Dam

Eighteen months ago, Memorial Day 2016, my husband and I settled into the car and ventured on a day trip—a luxury to which we rarely treat ourselves.

We journeyed to a small airport to interview a pilot with an extraordinary story about giving back to young people interested in aviation. The interview was one of my last ones for Ordinary Hoosiers—a website I created and manage. Though I still believe in that project’s mission, life has thrown a few curve balls that complicate maintaining the site.

When we finished the interview, we just started driving. We eventually found ourselves cruising the streets and neighborhoods of my husband’s old haunt in a former life. I listened as he told story after story and pointed out sights. I enjoyed all I was learning of the person he was before me.

Though I had heard many of the tales before, watching him relive those days that were important facets of the person he became warmed my heart and made me fall a little deeper in love with him.

When all the sights were seen and we had dined at a buffet that was new to him, we pondered where next to go.

“I know!” he said with a glint in his eye.

And then we were driving up the Ohio River shoreline marveling at the beautiful weather and the activity on the water.

At that point, I didn’t care if he even had a destination in mind. With each mile we put between us and home—and all the stressors in our lives—peace washed over me and I experienced deep mindfulness. I languished in the present moment.

No worries.

No stress.

No thoughts, except the water, the blue sky, and the perfect conversation with this man I loved beyond words and comprehension.

We finally arrived.

Our destination didn’t seem spectacular at all, but it wasn’t the initial sight that was worth mentioning.

We had arrived at Markland Locks and Dam—a concrete dam and bridge spanning the Ohio River.

We climbed stairs to a platform overlooking the lock system and watched as the gates closed, water levels rose, gates opened, and water receded. With each step in the process, I stared at the water levels, searching for minor changes that would reveal the magic before me.

Small boats and large barges endured the painstakingly slow process—closed locks, low water, high water, opened locks.

Even the ducks patiently waited through the process—closed, low, high, opened.

I realized at that point that sometimes we have to go through the process—just let life happen as it should—in order to get from one place to the other. The ducks didn’t worry about how long it took to get through the locks. They didn’t rush back and forth, impatient with the process.

If the ducks know this, then who am I to question the process?

What is the purpose in fighting the process?

Why worry? Life progresses at the appropriate pace for the task at hand.

My job is to trust the process.

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