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Life is a River

Kathy and I head to Phoenix tomorrow. The contrast in weather is sharp. It is -60 C with lots of snow here and +280 C in Phoenix, but apparently they are ‘suffering’ through a heat wave. I considered a poem about a phoenix rising from ashes, but opted for one that percolated for a while.

I began to think about this topic as we wrote life metaphors. There is no shortage of ways of seeing life, but a constant theme, for me, is a journey. I voyage into the unknown, but I still see what slowly disappears around river bends or as the river drops. There is no preset map, but it is the letting go of certainty that I welcome.

A journey from headwaters


Always seek the hidden

Evident truths.

Turbulent rapids

Still waters;

A visible contrast

An invisible path.

Fight the currents

Chaos gives way;

Languish in mysterious pools–

Life`s depth revealed.

New, unknown shorelines–

Welcome them;

Familiar sights fade, yet remain;

Both are navigational instruments.

Safe passage

Without false certainty;

Sets life`s course–

The course of a life well-lived.

About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

36 responses »

  1. I’d gladly take a heat wave. 🙂 Wonderful poem.

  2. This is simply outstanding ! It is amazing to see how you delve deep into soulful thoughts and create such meeaningful verses which strike a chord with your readers,Someday..I would like to reblog this truly are a creative genius..

  3. What a great course to set 🙂

  4. Peripatetic Eric

    Good words to live by. And don’t worry it’s a “dry heat”! 🙂

  5. Too bad we can’t share & do some give & take between hot & cold weather.
    Happy travels!

  6. So many of s miss the headwaters, and end up swirling in the wrong directions. Happy travels, Ivon!

  7. Wonderful poem Ivon, you will love the weather here right now. Saturday and Sunday are going to be right around 80 degrees and bright sunshine. Very, very nice. Travel safe and enjoy your time here.

  8. melanietoulouse

    Bonjour Yvon! 🙂 Oui, notre vie ressemble parfois à un fleuve…

    As-tu vu le film-culte(ici!) “La vie est un long fleuve tranquille”?… 🙂

    – – –
    Have a great weekend! Amitiés toulousaines… 🙂

  9. This is a very timely post for me. I’ve just been looking at “imaginative maps” – wondering if that is a path worth following. It’s a new idea for me, and your words have put a bit more flesh on it.

    • I am glad you found the words helpful. A book I just finished is Margaret Wheatley’s So Far From Home. She has used the analogy of maps in other books, but shifted to ones that we create in the midst of our journey.

  10. Safe travels and enjoy the flow..Your poem reflects the movement of our days..

  11. I really like and appreciate the last sentence! Ann

  12. A wonderful poem. Have a great time in Phoenix. I was there in Aug. last year and enjoyed myself. Hope you get a chance to go to the Grand Canyon and Sedona.


  13. Very nice poem I enjoy your thoughts on life.

  14. A well-lived life indeed. Thank you for the poem, Ivon. I like it.

  15. Pingback: Fluent | Teacher as Transformer

  16. Beautiful poem.
    Life is a river in the sense that a river is so easily compared to Life.
    A river is like life because it flows, and life as that of the flow of river.,
    Life can be smooth, rocky, or wavy, it has many interesting things, it has different moods depending on what happened that day.

  17. I moved to the Phoenix area two months ago and am enjoying the so-called heat wave. I’ve been told that happens in July and August. Hope you enjoy your trip.


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