The finish line to Wausau, WI's kayak races
It was almost 30 years ago that my husband and I met and starting paddling and racing whitewater boats. It was a full and exciting time. But then it came to an end. A glorious end, as it marked our beginning as parents.
What is left is more than just a box full of trophies and ribbons. Those get put on a shelf. It is the lessons learned about overcoming fear, being bold, facing seeming limitations and dedicating oneself to excellence. Those lessons are enduring.
It is no surprise that rivers are heavy with the symbolism of the cycle of renewal. Rivers start in some high country, rains and tributaries add to it as the river continues to replenish the earth, as they make their way to the sea. The water is evaporated into the sky which falls again replenishing the rivers. And the cycle continues.
The kayakers and spectators left for the day
So what happens when something you have loved and dedicated just about your whole life to comes to an end? Just like the river, you have your own cycle of renewal. You enter a new time of beginnings. Life is about life. Obvious as that may sound, it tells us that Life (as another name for God) continues to be expressed and reflected in our lives. Good ( another name for God) is a natural, compelling and always growing component of our lives. One experience makes us stronger, better, wiser for our next experience.
As our lives have been deepened by this experience, we are ready to go on to new experiences that are more engaging, more beautiful, and more peaceful. Life demonstrates life. And we continue to grow. This hymn sings it well! (from Christian Science Hymnal, No. 182):
Make channels for the streams of Love,
Where they may broadly run;
And Love has overflowing streams,
To fill them every one.
Ironically enough, this last weekend, an international kayak race was held in my part of the country. I heard about it while visiting a friend and had time to get to the race site just as people were leaving. This race was just one of the many national and international races my husband and I did for so many years. Everything looked familiar but the faces. I walked the sidewalk that paralleled the race course with a huge smile on my face. I traced how I would have paddled through each of the gates. I felt echoes of the thrill and exhilaration of the race. Little did I know then what I know now, of how my life continued to grow and even now, I continue to grow and experience new horizon opening things. Every finish to one great lesson is the start to another.
Kim C Korinek, CSB
banner photo (c) Micah Korinek; other photos by Gabe Korinek, Kim Korinek, Brad Crooks. Leslie Larsen (c) 2016