“Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream.”
It’s a simple song. We all know it. We learned it as children. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that someone mentioned it to me as a metaphor for living.
“Row your boat…gently down the stream.”
So often in life we try to fight against the currents. We paddle upstream. It’s exhausting. When I’m stressed out, sometimes this song will play in my head and reminds me to let the flow — the current of the world — take me where it’s going.
This is not to say going with the flow is being a doormat and you let the world walk all over you — far from it. What this simple little song does for me when I’m stressed is to remind me to work with the situation, not against it. And in that I find freedom.
In my book Not Sure Boys, Jamie fights against his homosexuality. But it’s not until he let’s go that his life changes for the better. He goes with the flow. Robby has helped him steer his boat in a new direction.
I’ve recently let myself “go with the flow.” I’ve embarked into new waters. I’m steering my life in a new direction.
Sometimes the stream is rough and I have to wait out the ride.
Other times I can see rocks ahead and I have to point myself in another direction.
And sometimes I just want to get out of the water and sit down by the banks and watch things go by.
Occasionally I bring someone else into my boat or maybe even go in theirs. But we all have own boats to get back to so it’s only for a short ride.
Then I remember the rest of the song: Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life IS but a dream.