"I did not die on the river. I lived."
She thought, why am I doing this?
Despite the possibilities on this river journey, Bobbi knew the only certainty was her unknowing. She felt relief when the downstream current was smooth and tame, but she knew the water had a mind of its own. Its change came by the moment.
Fears rose about sleeping in mysterious places alone or what was around a bend in the river. Some days, the good weather turned and was suddenly frightening. What good might be squeezed from fear? What rose from it was life.
When a tornado tore through, she lay heavy in the tent and pressed down from a fear she might rise high in the air. Flooding was fast and frantic. When sucked into deep and thick mud, she rinsed off and emerged to tell of it. She confronted polarities that were troubles but not tragedies, hazards yet not deadly. They were alarming but still bearable.
She loved the boldness and freedom of water, which was not shared with humans. She loved how the top water moved seamlessly,
going from smooth to rolling to perilous. Even afraid, she loved the river's temper and moods.
She will never forget the river trip when she launched and just went.
Bobbi Rathert lives in the Midwest. She worked in clinical mental health in Chicago for twenty-five years and on her sheep farm in southwest Wisconsin for twenty years. She solo kayaked six hundred and fifty miles of the Mississippi River at sixty-eight and then retired. She writes stories of the river and her many other life adventures.