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Archived Story

Go down to river

Published 10:37am Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It’s the lowest place around. Everything, on its own accord, eventually winds its way down to this watery reservoir of life.

So go down to the river.

All you who hurt. From broken relationships to broken bodies. Who feel the daily hole in your life of someone who cannot be replaced. Of the desperate yearning to take back an action that should not have occurred, of words that should not have been said.

You who hurt from looking back at a life that cannot be changed, cannot be altered, cannot be re-lived.

Throw it all in the river, I tell you.

All you who fear. Of what may come. Of what might happen. To your children, your parents, your friend, your life. Of the words a doctor might make or the actions a spouse might take. Of what you may be called to do one day, knowing you presently do not have the strength.

Fear of not living up to people’s expectations and seeing the disappointment in their eyes as you, once again, retreat into your dark corner. Fear of not having enough with no hope for more.

Fear of being left out or left alone, disregarded or disgraced, condescended to or reprimanded from, ignored or inadequate.

Throw it all in the river, I tell you.

All you who despair. Of what could have been and wasn’t. Of what might have been and isn’t. The tape that continually plays in your head of that day, that event, that occasion.

Of the look in that person’s eye, the pain in that person’s face, the hesitancy in that person’s voice, cemented in your memory. Of saying “if only” a thousand times in a thousand ways, knowing you can never go back, never grasp again a particular moment in time.

Throw it all in the river, I tell you. Stand on the bank, pry its embedded tentacles off your body and, with one giant heave, cast it all, against its will, into the murky depths and watch as it is enveloped and carried deliberately downstream. Watch as it passes out of sight, from river to river, winding its way to somewhere in the sea, where it will be buried forever.

For rivers were created for such things.

REX ALPHIN of Walters is a farmer, businessman, author, county supervisor and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His email address is rexalphin@aol.com.

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