Time it seems catches us all, and likewise our health soon follows. I am reminded of that each morning as I stretch my left side against the symptoms of Parkinsons, while attempting to ease chronically cramped feet before applying any weight to them. Ironically, these are the same feet that for many years carried me on 20 and 30 mile stretches as a Special Forces soldier. Even while burdened by a Communications Sergeants 80-100lb rucksack. Those days of youth slipped away with barely a notice however, and oftentimes seem like a distant memory of someone I once knew.
Life, like a trout stream, never stops. There are no re-do’s, restarts or snooze alarms when that final alarm sounds. As I stand looking over my father’s favorite trout stream from the bridge above, I am reminded of Heraclitus: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man.” The pools, in which my father loved to fish are no more, since the floods of a few years back cleared out the large sweepers that built the pools, and directed the gravel that in turned formed the streams runs. It is now a flat shallow that glides quietly by with few of the holding lies my father would come here to target. My father as well, has waded on ahead of me to different waters.
The stream has changed countless times over the course of my memory, as did both my father and I. Yet not in a bad way….we just changed. Life doesn’t allow for time to lie down and contemplate whether or not we should adjust and follow along. Like the stream, we are pulled along downstream, and wherever it is we regain the shore, we deal with. We dry ourselves off, cinch our waders back up, and step back in looking for that next riseform. It’s how we are made.
So I stretch my toes…roll the kink out of my neck….And step off into another day. Because there are still waters I have yet to wade. And even if I choose to cast my line in familiar waters….they, much like I are not the same as the last we met.