Down by the river

Down by a river sat a young boy.  He had come there because he was angry with what had happened, and he wanted to sit quietly and think.  This was his quiet place, surrounded by bushes and hard for anyone else to get to.  It was his safe place to be by himself and think.  To reflect on what had happened and try to find a way to make sense of it.

As he sat next to the river he noticed a young girl coming to swim in the river from the other side.  She was alone and lost in her own thoughts as she frolicked in the water.  He watched her diving under the water and coming back up again.  He was mesmerised by her sense of contentment in this quiet spot on her own (or so she thought).  He was so intrigued by her that he wasn’t able to sit and think about those things that had stressed him so a few minutes earlier.  In fact he found he was so mesmerised that he sat there quietly watching.  He didn’t say anything, he didn’t even think anything, he just sat and watched.

They continued like this for some time.  The girl unaware of anyone else in this protected oasis  and the boy sitting quietly and just watching.  Eventually the girl decided it was time to return to the other, and so she emerged from the river and went back home.  Never looking across the river to the reeds on the other side where the boy was now hiding.

The boy had come here to think because he was worried and angry.  He wanted to find a way to fix what had happened, but after sitting quietly he no longer harboured thoughts of revenge.  He had lost his emotional response and was now calmly thinking only of moving forward.  He was no longer thinking about correcting past wrongs or vengeful attacks. He was now thinking of how to accept what happened and move on.

The girl was unaware that her calmness had been shared.  She was unaware that this calmness she had felt while swimming had had such a profound effect on the young boy.  She would never know how the simple act of being content and enjoying the moment in a peaceful way could have changed a stranger’s heart.

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