Exactly one year ago today, I was kayaking on the Salt River in Wyoming with my sister, Phyllis. The water was unusually high due to all the rain the previous winter and quite cold as well. Phyllis urged me to hug my kayak toward the side of the river as there was a sizable waterfall ahead. I followed her advice and unfortunately I nearly drowned that day as suddenly my kayak flipped over and I was immediately tossed out into the icy rough water. While the kayak swiftly sailed down the river, fortunately, I popped up submerged almost to my neck, and was able to grab onto some brambles from the twisted, thin tree shrubs nearby. You see, this quite powerful, and relentless eddy kept trying to pull me back under. As I clung to the frail tree branches, I cried out for help with visions of a helicopter rescuing me. My sister kept going down the river in a panic, crying out for help.
I had just recently retired early from my day job as a school psychologist with the anticipation of finally filling the rest of my ‘bucket list’. As the raging currents rebelliously pushed and pulled me, my over-sized life vest slipped down my arms. I kept thinking, “I cannot die now… my book is not published, my song lyrics are not available, I have not been to Spain or the Fjords, and I always meant to take a cruise to Tahiti, I won’t be able to say goodbye to my daughter …” As those thoughts raced through me, I finally surrendered to God. I quietly prayed calling upon my Angels to guide me through the best outcome. In only a few minutes, a man’s hand reached out from nowhere and touch my shoulder. “Grab my hand”, he pleaded. I refused. I knew the vicious eddy was much too strong for a man to physically save me from the tumultuous water I was trapped in. That is when he said, “We have a human chain waiting to rescue you.” My Angels answered my prayer! Yes, a group of fishermen visiting from Utah spied my empty kayak and were compelled to search … and they found me!
Later that day, after taking such a long and hot shower, Phyllis offered me a glass of wine and suggested we sit on her back porch which looks out at a beautiful forest and mountains nearby. We both sat together holding hands and just cried. We understood that all those temporary upsets in life or what might trigger our annoyance or angst, are just that, temporary if not silly.
What really counts is when we remember we are all here on this journey together.
And, yes … Let’s make the most of it!