I recently came across a beautiful article written in a chinese website recently about curved rivers. There was no english version of it. So I decided to come up with an adaptation of the original article and called it “Life Lessons From Curved Rivers”. You can read the original chinese article here http://bit.ly/1m5tSIy
Why should a river be straight when it could be curved? As rivers cut through the countryside, they weave intricate patterns that can literally take your breath away! This creates amazing vistas, new trails to explore, and adventures that are unlike any other.
It also gives us the opportunity to learn some important lessons about life itself.
These curves are a lot like a detour you’d find on a roadway, offering you an alternative way to arrive at your destination. These natural bends are part of nature’s grand design, even if a more efficient way to travel might be a straight line.
What a river asks you is this: why stay in a straight, boring line when you can take a more adventurous journey?
Each river has its own personality. Even though some bends in a river might look the same, the character of that curve is different. Some have gentle currents that would let you leisurely float on by. Others have raging rapids that provide an unequaled visual experience when you see them.Still others have sandbars that take visitors right to the river’s edge to begin forming a new friendship with this marvel of nature.
Today’s journeys are all about speed and efficiency. What these curved rivers can teach us is that by taking some extra time to enjoy the journey we have in life, we can see some amazing sights that would be missed if we just focus on speed and efficiency.
Why do rivers have curves in them? It’s about the strength and weakness of the land surrounding the river. Water takes the easiest path possible to get to its destination. What does this mean? Even though it might seem like a straight line from Point A to Point B is the fastest way to go, it might not be. It definitely isn’t the easiest!
There’s also a science to the bend of a river that allows it to contain water overflows that occur during the rainy season. A straight river would simply flood with any added volume. A curved river can handle more stress because there is more overall length to the journey. The same could be said for each person too – when the journey is flexible, the ability to adapt to changing circumstances is much easier.
When a person’s journey is straight and rigid, there can be no room for changing circumstances. When stress or anxiety comes their way, it becomes an overwhelming flood very quickly.
A curved river might seem like it is inefficient, but it is the most efficient route there is. That’s because it finds a way to get around the obstacles set before it so that it can continue to flow with ease.
No matter how long a river’s detour might be, every twist, turn, and bend eventually brings it to its final destination. It will always find a way to come home. Our journeys are also the same. Each travelled path might be different, just like a river has its own unique curves, but eventually our destination will always be reached.
We’ll always be able to find a way home.
It can be easy to become consumed by the length of a journey. There might even be some who judge the amount of curves a river might have and deem it to be a poor representation of nature. It’s not the perspective of others that matters when it comes to the journey, however, because no other river travels the same path.
Every path is unique. Every path is special. Every path adds strength to the world around it. That means every path is equally important, no matter what the landscape may be, the obstacles that might be in the way, or the amount of curves that must be traversed to reach a destination.
It is important to remember that every journey is important. Every river bend has a purpose. Every curve is special because it defines the personality of the river. The same is true with each detour in life’s journey that we all take.
Setbacks are normal. They serve the purpose of teaching a different perspective. When we learn from these new perspectives instead of judging them because they are different, we are able to see the true beauty of each river, each journey, and each detour.
What bends are coming up in your journey? Don’t be afraid of them… prepare for them.
Even if it seems like your journey is coming to a place where you can choose to go one direction or the other, you don’t need to be afraid. Close your eyes. Feel where the flow of life is taking you. You’ll make the correct decision.
No matter how long your journey may be, the sun rises and sets the same on everyone. The rains will come, the day will begin anew, and there will be new joys to see. Even the stars shine upon every river’s journey the same.
A river curves naturally because it is choosing the best course to take. Some journeys are straighter than others, but that doesn’t mean the journey is any different than the most curved pathway in the world. It just means it is special.
That’s the one lesson that the curves of a river can teach all of us: we’re all headed home in our own unique way and that’s what matters above all else.