“Just Around The River Bend”

“What I love most about rivers is you can’t step in the same river twice. The water’s always changing, always flowing. But people, I guess, can’t live like that we all must pay a price. To be safe, we lose our chance of ever knowing what’s around the river bend,
Waiting just around the river bend.”
Judy Kuhn


As most of you know, I am a child of the late 80’s and 90’s. My constant reference to various Disney characters while cuing different shapes in class was probably a dead giveaway of where I am situated historically. So it probably comes as no surprise that this morning I found myself internally singing one of the iconic songs from Disney’s Pocahontas – “Just around the Riverbend” written by Judy Kuhn. (For those unfamiliar, here’s a video for reference.) 

Even at this moment, as the song continues to loop in my mind like an ear worm, I find myself marveling at the profundity of the song’s message. The “river” (as I see it) is a metaphor for life. The “distant drumming” is the passage of time. The “river bend” represents the presence of at least two different paths inherent in every action we take – whether that action is internal or external. And of course, as the chorus reminds us, each aspect of life asks that we “look once more” beyond the present decision we are faced with to the long-term price we must “pay” for making one decision over another. 

The underlying issue of course is one of faith, trust, and purpose. In Kuhn’s lyrics, we are reminded that many aspects of life ask us if we “should choose the smoothest course, steady as a beating drum?” Or should we hold steadfastly to the internal call of our hearts? Should we trust that we can weather the bumps and jumps of life, knowing that the “dream giver” waits “just around the river bend,” just beyond our fears and struggles, challenges, set-backs, or limitations – waiting to show us our heart’s desires?

This line of inquiry, provided by this song, has sparked the following questions that I wanted to share with you as contemplation points for the week: 

  • What ” river bend” are you currently approaching?  This could apply to one’s personal or professional life.
  • What fears and hopes, challenges and opportunities, strengths and weaknesses are present in this situation, relationship, or occupation? 
  • How comfortable are you with “the chance of never knowing” what lies down one path versus another? 

For me, my practice continues to be the place where I work to cultivate a greater sense of faith, hope, and trust in life as I look once more at the decisions I am making on and off the mat. Imagining your practice might serve a similar purpose, I have a few public offerings available. Please reach out if you’d like to join.