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Knee Deep in a River

“A world of abundance surrounds you, if only you will step up and claim it.  Make life happen through you rather than letting it happen to you.  It will make all the difference in the world.”  Ralph Marston

This past summer I got to go on a wonderful weekend trip to South Beach with one my best girlfriends.  We had such a great time.  One of our more memorable evenings was spent hanging out with a beautiful Cuban woman.  We met her at our hotel’s outdoor Tiki Hut bar on the beach.  She was truly fascinating.  We met her around 4pm and didn’t leave her until sometime after midnight.  She told great stories, introduced us to a new club up the street when our Tiki Hut closed for the night and imparted years of experience and wisdom (Some advice was pretty interesting and won’t go into details here but it still makes me smile!  I'm smiling right now in fact.).  The thing is…she was probably around 60-65 years old, at least 20 years older than us.  She lived in a condo up the street and had met one of her girlfriends there after work.   I think of how I would have missed out had we not met her.  There is a world of abundance out there, so many things to learn and interesting people to meet if you’re open to it.  How often do we close ourselves off from talking to people because we’re in our own world or they aren’t whatever list of things we have in our head people we like “should be”?  Or because of a closed mind and a way of thinking that says “Since they can’t further our career or help us in some way or we’re not going to be best friends or marry the person, why bother?” I’ll never see this lovely Cuban woman again but I will always remember her.  She looked amazing, was incredibly interesting and gave us a truly memorable evening in South Beach.  She was inspiring in many ways and getting to know her was a gift.  This is just one of many stories I have like this.  Sometimes I do see people again or we become friends, who knows, but a lot of the time they’re only in my life for a brief time. 

Are you open to all that is available to you at any given moment?  Every encounter won’t be memorable but many will be.  In some way, they’ll teach you something if you’re open to it and truly curious (you can’t fake this).  There are so many people around you that are happy to help you in some way.  And you are here to teach and help them in some way too.

There is a Kathy Mattea song called “Knee Deep in a River” that I think captures this realization that you’ve been missing out, that there is really a world of abundance around you if you’re present in the moment and aware of it.  Here are some of the lyrics if you don’t know it…

“Friends I could count on, I could count on one hand, with a leftover finger or two.  I took them for granted, let them all slip away.  Now where they are I wish I knew. 

They roll by just like water and I guess we never learn.  Go through life parched and empty, standing knee deep in a river dying of thirst.

So the sidewalk is crowded, the city goes by, and I rush through another day, and a world full of strangers turn their eyes to me but I just look the other way. 

They roll by just like water and I guess we never learn.  Go through life parched and empty, standing knee deep in a river dying of thirst.”