Down at the river


The bike trail led us to our rocky alcove along the Scioto River where we have planted ourselves on Sunday mornings for years. It provides a refuge from the traffic and the noise and the bustling of people grabbing coffees, grocery shopping or heading to church.

Ri and Mario transcended down the rocky bank towards the river staying alert for unique rocks. Mario threw a hefty stone in the water and watched the splash. He continued to find rocks progressively bigger in size to see how much bigger his splash would be. Maria hunted for rocks for us to take home for our garden.

I had considered trying out a new church today. I hunted for a few on the internet last night while the kids slept. I struggle with the feeling that we should have a gathering place on Sunday mornings where we worship beside others and sing songs and reflect. Jon and I have not put our energies in our local church for numerous reasons; the number one reason for me being that I feel like it’s hypocritical. I believe in women leaders, gay rights, womens’ choice and the church, at least at the highest ranks, does not. The non-denominational churches I found last night seemed promising but I still feel hesitant. And as I stood on the bank of the Scioto watching M&M, I couldn’t help but notice how joyful and soulful and grounded I felt being outside amongst the trees and water and birds.

When we walked together along the path and paused to watch a brown and yellow-spotted butterfly flutter around a bunch of flowers, I was grateful for the quiet moment with my munchos.

We came upon a part of the trail that had a clearing leading down to a wide patch of lily pads. When we passed the last large oak and the sky opened up, we saw all of the lilies spread along the river. A couple of ducks swam through them. The kids stared at the scene and Mario tried out his duck calling sounds (hilarious). Maria tried clapping to a beat to help Mario but still no ducks came our way.

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On our way back to our stroller, Maria spotted a buckeye on the ground. Then another. We were under a buckeye tree. Mario found a nut eventually and took much pride in splitting it in two. The buckeyes inside were so shiny. I hit a branch with a throng of nuts and it was like gold dropped from the heavens. The kids scurried around grabbing the nuts and piling them up. The nuts brought great joy especially when Mario packed them in his sweater pockets and acted like a pregnant woman.

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We laughed hysterically all the way back to the stroller as Mario kept “having babies” on the way back when the nuts fell out of his pockets. We dropped the nuts off at the stroller and headed down to throw more rocks in the river before riding home. Maria chimed “you need to take our river picture, mom!” We have a tradition of getting pictures at the river with each season. Fall is not technically here but it felt like it this morning at 50 degrees.

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We left the river two hours after arriving – a tad longer than we would have been at a church – and felt all the more rejuvenated and full of spirit as we eased into a Sunday afternoon.

6 thoughts on “Down at the river

  1. Janaki says:

    it can be hard to find a faith community that is in line with one’s values – i value our community so much; i think having a community is really helpful to a family, especially in supporting us parents in helping our kids find their way in a confusing world. good luck in the search!

  2. Kevin says:

    You know we’ve recently started attending a Unitarian Universalist church here. Dagmawit was the motivation as here in the South she was already starting to get some flak from baby Bible thumpers at school. So we decided she should have something to counter it with and a church she could say she belonged to. It’s a church that believes no one has the whole truth. Existence is too mysterious. It’s liberal and encourages social justice and action, and embraces everyone from athiests like Margie, to spiritual existentialists like me to, nature religions, to more traditional faiths. You’d fit right in.

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