Confluence: Old Latin, adapted, from “com” (together) “fluer” (to flow) The point at which two rivers come together.
Hiking with friends recently, the word "confluence" popped up, as we came upon two pretty streams flowing into one another. I should have stopped for a picture, but I didn’t. You can picture them yourself though—swift and clear, lined with willow trees and wildflowers, gravel beds sparkling as sun filtered through the trees. The idea of confluence was tossed about as we continued on our way.
When two streams merge, there’s lots of energy -- but there is something more, something powerful and transformative. Ancient Hindus often built temples at the confluence of rivers and streams, as the sites were considered sacred. The blending of waters is compelling, but this world is filled with confluences of every kind.
Music is a confluence of melody, harmony, rhythm, and words. Connecting with another person is confluence, too. Whether the flowing together results in an idea, a business, a friendship, a romance, or a new life coming into the world-- generations can be affected and transformed by confluence.
A confluence of three events led me to board a plane this week to Mexico: an invitation, a bucket list wish, and an offer I couldn't refuse--a cousin who promised to be our tour guide and interpreter. I've been swept along in the current.
I’ve resisted my mom’s pleadings to escort her to Mexico for years, like a snail resists being sucked out of its shell. My Spanish is terrible. I imagine bumbling into streets teeming with drug lords. I don't like being out of my element. But I know that expands or contracts according to our willingness to take risks. But I do have respect for Bucket List Wishes from my mother. Also, I now have respect for confluence. I’ve being carried away by the current, like it or not.
59 years ago, a family wedding took place in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, that my mom was unable to attend as she was pregnant with me. She has let me know many times I could make up for my untimely impending arrival--if I would just take her there, to see her former sister in law and nephew. And so--we navigated planes, trains and Customs pat-downs to arrive in this lovely town of cobblestones, flowers, firecrackers and pop-up weddings and parades.
As the sights, sounds and tastes of Mexico swirled around us, Big Fish Dreams sailed forth into the world from Ely, Minnesota. Books, too, are a confluence of events and people. In this case, a confluence of art, story and people from all over that care about salmon and stream restoration come together. If you are a river lover, and have a kiddo that likes to fish, you can order Big Fish Dreams from Amazon or from www.ravenwords.com, and know you’ll be helping a good cause.
We are safely home now, and Mom had a great time. The Bucket List Wish has been checked, and while it wasn't my wish, I am the richer for this confluence. I actually learned a lot that completely changed my view of my extended family history. I was, in spite of myself, transformed by this confluence of events. I discovered my family is history is far more complex and more tender than I'd imagined. I'm glad I didn't resist the flow.
May your confluences all lead to happy transformations. May you stand in the flow of all good things. And if you get a chance to get to San Miguel de Allende--it's well worth the effort.
Jimmy Buffett - Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes:
Welcome to Streamriffs.com, a place for fellow creek- walkers and nature lovers. Lori Fisher Peelen lives in California with her family.