"What I love most about rivers is
you can't step in the same river twice.
The water's always changing,
But people I guess can't live like that
They all must pay a price
To be safe we lose our chance
of ever knowing
What's around the river bend
Waiting just around the river bend
I look once more just around the river bend
Beyond the shore where the gulls fly free
Don't know what for
What I dream the day might send
just around the river bend
For me, coming for me...."
- Alan Menken
"Just Around the River Bend"
(click on the title above for a link to the video)
She was 6 years old and fully aware of her own "promise" as she stood there that bright, hot summer afternoon in 1994. It was the end-of-season performance for her summer arts camp, and she was Pocahontas. Together we had created her costume out of chamois (soft, pliable natural leather sold for polishing cars) we bought in ragged pieces at the local auto supply store. She and I had worked tirelessly cutting fringe and sewing on small, colorful glass beads. Her long hair was braided, tied with thin strips of the same chamois, and woven with flowers. She looked every bit the strong, self-assured Indian princess.
As she threw her arms out for those final words..."Just around the river bend..." my heart caught in my throat and the moment was captured forever in memory as a moment I didn't want to ever forget.
This is still one of my favorite mental pictures of our strong, beautiful daughter who has just finished her matric exams in South Africa. And yes, I do believe that the Dream-giver still waits for her...and for all of us.
Recently my husband accepted an assignment in another city - work that is "on purpose" with his sense of mission and honors our vision and values as a family. As soon as we knew that this was the right thing for him, the organization he is working with, and our family, I wanted to know "What does this mean for us...down the road? What's next?"
My husband gave me a great gift. He said, "you don't have to know that right now." He went on to explain that today we know everything we need to know. We knew that our youngest children are happy in their school. We knew that his housing was being taken care of where he was going. We knew that if there was a need he could be home on a flight in a matter of hours. We knew that I love what I do, and that I love where I am privileged to be working. We knew that our older children were happy and at peace in the cities they lived in, the friends they were surrounded by, the schools they attended, and the jobs they held. We...I really didn't need to know anything more at that moment. I was at peace.
As I look back at the ensuing months, I realize that -- for the most part -- I have held that peace. There have been very few moments where I have felt panicky about "not knowing." But when people have asked me "what's next," I have been completely confident in saying, "we don't know anything more than that we are all in our right place, doing what we love, and happy...today."
I know that when we need to know more...we will. I know that whether this "chapter" is brief, or whether it lasts for years, we are fine. We love eachother. We are doing work we love and having opportunities to bless that we would not have otherwise.
For the most part, I am at peace "not knowing" what's around the river bend. Perhaps I've learned something from that little Pocahontas of mine. Perhaps she has taught me that I too have promise and that I can trust that the God who blessed me with promise, will bring it to pass.
Mary Baker Eddy says that,
"Security for the claims of harmonious and eternal being
is found only in divine science."
This is a statement worth resting my hopes, dreams...and yes, promise...on. In this divine Science where God, good is All-in-all, Love is the only law-giver, and I am secure and safe. In this kingdom, the province of the heart, there is but one supreme, beneficent Sovereign who loves me, and mine, and all. Anything that dwells there...dreams, hopes, vision..are under His divine control and I can trust His wise oversight to know where, when, and how to bring it all to pass. "...I feel it there beyond those trees
I can always feel the presence of the great Dream-giver assuring me of His presence, and I can trust...just trust...
Perhaps you, too, can feel it....
Or right behind these waterfalls
Can I ignore that sound
of distant drumming?
Should I choose the smoothest course
steady as the beating drum...
...Is all my dreaming at an end?
Or do you still wait for me, Dream-giver,
just around the river bend...?
Kate Robertson, CS
"...I feel it there beyond those trees