It was the perfect day to spend on the river. The brilliant sun chased away the thought of a cloud in the October sky. The hint of early fall made us keep on our jackets and long sleeves until the coffee warmed us. The cool morning air causes a mist to rise off the water. Our canoes cut through the water and into the fog as husbands teasingly rock canoes just to hear their wife laugh.
In no time, we are on our way down the winding river. Wayne sets the rhythm and tells me left, left, now to the right, and we follow our friends, just ahead of us around the bend. As we clear the first corner we are rewarded with a brilliant sun across the river. The canoes coast as everyone takes in the early morning beauty. I notice the chill bumps on my arm, unsure of whether it is the breathtaking mist, or the cool morning breeze.
I smile and listen to Wayne as he tells me that this Oconee River begins in North Georgia and winds it way to the sea. I love that he loves the outdoors, and even more so his beloved Georgia. He knows where the river begins and ends. I listen to him tell me about the path of this river and about the wildlife that live on its banks.
We stop at a sandbar and take time to stretch. From here we find an old campfire which makes me think of how fun it would be to camp right in this spot. I tell my friend, Christine exactly that and of course she agrees. She loves to camp as much as me. We laugh, and I give her a spontaneous hug. Today is a day to enjoy friends. I do enjoy her. I love her quiet spirit and loving heart, and I tell her so. She smiles a shy smile that I know so well and for a moment I pray a blessing over her.
We sail on and a bit farther down the river we stop again for lunch. We munch on picnic lu nches and stretch our arms, that are beginning to remind us that rowing is not something we do everyday. After lunch, some go for a walk and talk. Others stretch out in the warm noonday sun and lazily close their eye for a quick nap. I talk with friends that I somehow never have, or take the time to talk with like I want. We talk about the goodness of God in our lives. My friend, Jennifer tells me what good place she and her husband are in. She tells me how much she is enjoying this peacful season in their marriage. She says, ” I am trying to just enjoy everday.” I will think about this the rest of the day. Truly what God desires for his children, to enjoy his goodness.
The day ends too soon. Like a present on this fall day I tuck the memories away in my mind. These are the good and perfect gifts from above. Today was a day to enjoy breathtaking beauty in my own backyard. Today was a day to hold my husband’s hand, to work and play together. Today was a day that made me smile and laugh with friends. To soak up the goodness of God.
I will smile everytime I cross “river bridge” as I think about the October morning when I made my way down that river. It was a very good day.