The River Bank

We two sit on your river bank --
Upstream and downstream shrouded in fog.
We talk about the rippling river
And the gentle breeze in the trees,
Embraced in the foggy blanket.
This is our world just for now.
Then someone emerges from the fog
Rowing on the river's currents.
They wave and in a moment disappear
Down river into the fog.
We talk of them on the river bank.
But their memory quickly fades.
You look downstream hidden by the fog.
You ask what's beyond there?
I remind you that the river
Flows downstream to the ocean,
Vast and beautiful, we believe.
We all make that journey.
But you turn to watch the river,
Ripples formed by the breeze,
Schools of fish meandering below.
You look up at the trees, tops lost in the fog.
We talk of the river and the trees.
This is our world just for now.
Upstream out of the fog from time to time
Come strangers and familiar faces
Flowing into the fog of downstream.
But we watch the river,
Always here with us just for now,
Flowing but unchanging.
When I continue my journey downstream
Passing through the fog, I'll stop occasionally
And sit on my river bank in quiet and peace.
I'll not fret about the tributaries I took upstream.
I'll not worry about the rapids downstream.
I'll, just for now, sit and watch the river ripple.
Then when my journey reaches the ocean,
Vast and beautiful, canopied by a clear sky,
I'll sit with you again on the shore.
We can marvel at our journeys
And wonder at the vast ocean before us --
And simply be, just for now.

©2009 John A. Mills