Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Annah ElizabethHappy Happens ™, Mental Health, SpiritualityLeave a Comment

Happy Sunday, Journeyer,

Warren, Big Guy, and I spent most of last Sunday in a parking lot at an inlet’s edge, trying to fix a broken boot on our boat.

We’d made plans for a Memorial Day outing with Beauty and her beau, and the boat had been the day’s major attraction.

Upon discovering that the repair had ruptured during the night, Hubby, Son, and I quickly switched gears, repacked, and revised our plans.

Kan Jam and a new lawn dart game I’d purchased became the day’s entertainment. We tossed in water shoes so we could hike the gorge our family has trekked countless times over the years.

Upon arriving to the lake, we discovered kayak, canoe, paddle boat, and water board rentals!

We first rented tandem kayaks, with Warren and I taking turns rowing with Big Guy. How do you spell teenager? Let’s see if I can tip Mom and Dad over when one of them is on board with me.

Proud and happy to say that this Mama hoisted herself back into the seat and away we went.

If you’ve never been rowing, let me just say it is such a peaceful movement and being on the water makes it even more so, sans the capsizing, of course. Though I must say that the laughter that ensued is equally good for the soul!

I spent the rest of my six-day break from school doing more cleaning, reading, researching, reflecting, and networking.

We all went up to a little nearby pond one night, where I enjoyed watching Warren and the kids fish. Hubby set up a rig for me on which I immediately caught two sunnies. I’ve never understood why I wasn’t fond of this form of recreation. I always sort of thought of it as boring, but on this night the truth hit home: I don’t like the idea that I am causing another life form pain. I imagine that getting a hook into a lip is quite painful and that being handled by large unidentified beasts would be unsettling.

Since I am not a fish I cannot know if they feel pain or fear, but if they do, I don’t want to be responsible for that. Does that make sense?

Nonetheless, I DO enjoy watching my family and friends enjoying themselves, for I find happiness in their joy.

The Five Facets Lakeside Wedding PhotoOther  moments that lifted my spirits include the iris flowers in full bloom in my yard, a steady stream of hummingbirds at my feeders, a therapeutic massage, talks with my parents and my morning commute conversations with my sis, a dinner date with Warren, hot tub soaks with Hubby, the season’s first crickets and fireflies, the inspiration for more book ideas and articles, sunshine, a few short jaunts with my pooch, a lakeside wedding for the daughter of long-time family friends, fluffy white clouds, and super soft toilet paper (this week’s heatwave brought me a serious bout of bowel troubles. I’ll spare you the rest of the details.)

This morning, as I was moving some more papers around on my desk, I found a fortune cookie note that read: “Service is the rent you pay for having room on the Earth.” Turns out it’s a Muhammad Ali quote. Poignant and super cool that this inspiration should be unearthed from my mess the day following this legend’s death.

That is another of life’s little divine appointments.

[Tweet theme=”basic-white”]”Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” ~Muhammad Ali[/Tweet]


This week’s title stemmed from the many boating vessels found in the images that captured some of my joys from the past seven days.

If you’ve never heard some of the stories behind classic nursery rhymes, suffice it to say that many of them are a bit daunting. Row, Row, Row, Your Boat, however, is akin to one of my other favorites, The Little Engine that Could.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat is about life, living, and learning.

That childhood ditty is about captaining the ship of your own life. I imagine that the rowing metaphor has to do with achieving the sort of zen feeling I experienced when out on the lake. It’s about finding balance, about learning to be in the moment, and about letting go of the tension that tends to turn us upside down.

While looking for validation that I interpreted this nursery rhyme correctly as a positive one, I stumbled across an article by author Contento49 of the blog A Day in the Life and Other B.S. I absolutely love this line about his interpretation of this childhood sing-along: “you are the oarsman, rowing down the river of time.”

Journeyer, we are absolutely the oarsman of our happiness.  Like healing, happiness is a choice. We choose to see the signs, we choose to acknowledge them by incorporating them into our daily stories. And like the oarsman, we choose when to paddle and when to rest.

I love rowing along side you down this river called Life.

It doesn't matter where you go in life, it's who you're with sign Annah Elizabeth The Five Facets photo

What about you, Journeyer? What moment(s) brought you a zen feeling, made you smile, or warmed your heart as you rowed through this past week of your life? Your neighbors and I want to know! Share something?

Until we meet again, yours in hope, healing, and happiness,

Annah Elizabeth Signature

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