They Straightened Out the River

By December 28, 2011 9 Comments

“You know, they straightened out the Mississippi River in places, to make room for hourse and livable acreage. Occasionally the river floods these places. “Floods” is the word they use, but in fact it is not flooding; it is remembering. Remembering where it used to be. All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.  – Toni Morrison

Beautiful. Resonant. And True.

What “river” in you got straightened out somewhere along the way in life – changed from it’s natural form to accommodate practical realities or other people’s agendas?

How is the river’s yearning to go back it’s original shape manifesting in your life right now?

Have you been calling it a flooding – a random and dangerous event? And what happens if you recognize it as a remembering?

I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments below.

About this photo: Brenda Walker took first place in the Division II nature and landscapes category of the 2010 U.S. Army Digital Photography Contest with “Morning Serenity,” the above of East Fork Indian Creek River.

And I leave you with one more goodie: This video, a 4-year old girl’s rant about “pinked up” marketing to girls, is worth a watch.




Image: Morning Sernity by Brenda Walker

Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • Kelly says:

    Beautiful post. Not sure why, but it really said something to me. Thanks for giving me something to really think about.

  • Beth says:

    This is an amazingly spiritual statement, and it really talks to ‘finding your true inner self’ in my opinion. I continue to find that path, and my husband and children help me to wade through the ‘flood zones’ to help me understand and grow.

    I have moved from a less spiritual life to one of growth, and yet, at times, I still see that old path and think that is better, even if I know in my heart it is not. This poem truly helped me remember what is important for me, and for my family. Thank you so much!

  • Winsomebella says:

    I lived a number of years in a house high on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi. Most springs, the runoff would cause flooding which disrupted life in various ways before it eventually receded back to its normal state. Your words struck a chord with me and reminded me to be patient at times and to let the river run its natural course.

  • Yvonne says:

    Hi, Tara,
    I hope you were named after the Tibetan Buddhist GREEN TARA. I love that energy.
    I am very glad I found you through the Goddess Summit.I have been incorporating your information on goals and LEAP challenges on a radio show Tuesday and into a small group I’m doing in January.A link to your website has been posted on my website. You have a remarkable way of seeing things in new ways. Thanks for this post today.

  • Colette says:

    I love the comparison of a river to the natural self.

    My natural flow is revealing who I am.

    It has been frightening to encounter people who try to dictate creativity.

    They call it work.

    I work to protect my creativity.

    To have a path where it can flow.


    I am learning to navigate the river of my life. To steer the boat I travel in.

    I have to determine my course but I work with others not aware of their natural flow.

    At times my path is blocked.

    And I must work out how best to proceed.

    Lately I am seeing how thought can be so busy and if I am attached to it, it hurts.

    I am learning to be less busy and engaged in thought.

    I don’t want to forget when work starts again. There’s so much thinking at work.

    I want to practice self care each day. And not sacrifice that for ‘work’.

    “Birth is like riding in a boat. You raise the sails and row with the oar .. You ride in the boat and your riding makes the boat what it is.”

    Zen MasterDogen
    (translated by Kazuaki Tanahashi)

  • Bonnie says:

    Helps remind me that there are no mistakes, just greater ‘truth tellings’ that come with unexpected presents if we can open our hearts wide enough before we unwrap them.
    I am currently learning to relax back into my natural curves and this post has been a perfect confirmation.
    Thank you.

  • Uzma says:

    There is a bouyant energy and happiness that seems to be flooding me now, and I’d like to believe it is a ‘remembering’. .Laughter, lights, music is a remembering. The night sea breeze, the blowing wind, the joy at flowers is a remembering.

  • Patricia Young says:

    What If? Miracles do happen all the time.
    So my river found a new path and that path was even better. I have deleted all judgments of others and all criticism and my river is flowing smoother than ever before in my life.
    I am free of other’s baggage and free to create. I am free to laugh and bring laughter to the world. The poem has helped me think and be grateful.

  • Julie says:

    It has taken me 53 years to realize the people who have always tried to “straighten my river” are functioning from a place of fear, not knowledge. I have taken back the natural flow of my river and in the future I hope to follow it instead of second guessing and thinking others know more of what is right for me than I do myself. This has really resonated for me… thank you for the lovely way you put it.

We are on a mission to help you realize your playing big dream.
Dive into our resources here: