Hannah had been driving through the Adirondack mountains for hours, racing the river to clear her head. She left her family behind on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, with an urgency even she didn’t understand. She kept one eye on the road and one on the river, convinced she was looking for something, just not sure what.
Hannah slams on the breaks and pulls the car to the side of the road. Leaving her shoes in the car, she walks down to the river. She laughs at the sight of the rock that caught her attention from the road. It has rays of sunshine beaming down on it, as if it is calling to her. She couldn’t resist heading right for it.
Hannah begins jumping from one rock to the next, offering no time to contemplate fear. She smiles as she reaches the boulder begging for her company. She pleas with her clumbsiness to stay at bay, as she awkwardly climbs to sit on the rock.
Hannah isn’t used to sitting still. She’s used to her mind and body being pulled in a thousand directions, always dictated by other people’s needs. She bends her knees to her chest and closes her eyes. She begs the restlessness to calm down.
Hannah begins to hear the loud silence of the water racing downstream. Looking both up and down the river, she starts to see the thousands of rocks, littering the water’s path. Each one embedded without permission, demanding to be considered. She thinks about the difficult circumstances she has made it through as these rocks, and her ability to overcome them as the water constantly running through. The river becomes a force Hannah feels confident surrounded by.
A strong gust of wind blows – a manifestation of Hanna’s incarcerated energy. Finally – she breathes. An inhale strong enough to wake her.
Hannah timidly slides off her clothes and places her feet in the river. She braces herself for a shock of cold. Instead, the warmth clings to her skin, seeping into her soul. It moves her to walk deeper. Hannah knows there is a reason she was called to this open space and is moved to walk deeper. She risks being seen from the road and maneuvers each slippery rock with conviction.
She can no longer resist baptizing herself in the moment. Hannah submerges herself in the river, conforming her body to the rocks. Water rushing over her bare skin, she dips her head back and allows the river to run her completely over. She eagerly gives in to it, feeling no need to come up for air. The stress of life – motherhood, relationships, family, money, self doubt – she could feel the water pulling it out of her pores, leaving her lighter and finally free.
Hannah stands up. She confidently manipulates the stones to carry her out of the river. As she reaches the rock that initially called her to this space, she arches her back against its heated skin. She feels the sun recharging her spirit.
Hannah dressed and walked back to her car. She did a U-turn in the road and headed home. She set out today with the idea of finding herself on repeat in her head. As she finished her journey, driving in to a sun set as perfect as her time alone has been, she felt relieved of her search.
A Piscean true at heart – it’s no wonder Hannah found her self by the river, contemplating forces that run both with and against nature.