ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM. MERRILY, MERRILY, MERRILY, MERRILY, LIFE IS BUT A DREAM.
So, do these words trigger any deeper associations for the reader? I recall a medium’s connection with my paternal grandmother Fanny. Her words of wisdom to me involved letting go of worries and concerns since life is only a dream anyway. Later on, this concept was confirmed by one of my aunts, Pearl who had deep metaphysical interests. Yes, her mother, my grandmother Fanny, did express those sentiments during her life.
And what about the directive to “row, row, row” ? Perhaps we need to remind ourselves that self-directed action is required in this incarnation. Passivity is not appropriate in the face of the challenges of existence. Free will dictates that we are obliged to make choices. Choose to act in ways that promote our best interests.
But what about going “down the stream”? Does that imply we should always take the easy way out of our dilemmas? Probably not. But on the same token, continually struggling against the flow of one’s life is foolish and wasteful. There is a path in our lives that needs to be pursued. We may need to work to discover it. But once we do, it will feel right. At that time it will seem as if our journey is downstream.
And what about joy in the face of obvious suffering? Wouldn’t it be great if we can find enough satisfaction in the multiple aspects of our life to reach some level of serenity? A great deal of that will be determined by how we perceive our lives.
If we are intense and competitive we can never relax. Whatever we have or achieve will be overshadowed by the accomplishments or material possessions of others. The ability to cultivate the attitude of gratitude puts our minds into a state of relative bliss. Observe those around us who seem at peace with the world. Rarely will they compare themselves with the lives of others. Ultimately we should recognize that our unique life journey reflects the need to learn karmic lessons that are ours alone to experience.
So perhaps there is wisdom in this simple childhood rhyme.