top of page

swimming deer & the poetry of the moment

Updated: Oct 24, 2018

swimming deer in hudson river

This morning on my run alongside the mighty Hudson River, I was contemplating the feeling of being stuck. Being stuck creatively - and not finding the time or the inspiration to get anything meaningful down on paper. Having lots of ideas but not seeming to be able to follow through.

Just at this moment of musing, I was jogging down a trail onto a small black pebble beach at the water’s edge and I noticed a deer swimming against the current across the Hudson River.

Several things struck me. There is a deer crossing the river. This deer is young. The current is strong. The river, at this point, is about a mile across. I never thought a deer would undertake this crossing. It did not occur to me that a deer could or would even want to swim.

Many thoughts flooded my mind afterwards but I lingered on one - the creative poetry of the moment.

Watching a deer swim, across a wide river in the morning sunlight..I had a moment of concern for him. Does he know the current is strong? Has he done this before? Is he struggling? But nothing in the picture made me think this deer was anything but doing what he knew, one stroke at a time.

It brings to mind the creative impulse – the surge that says Yes! And jumps in the water. The same surge that must keep saying Yes to continue on the upstream journey.

It makes me consider my tendency towards perfection which keeps me from progress, when all it takes is one stroke at a time to reach the other side. And who knows what’s over there and how things will shift and change when I get there!

I am reminded that when I ask others of their opinions too often, I get caught in the eddies and I am out of the flow. I forget my own unique swim, whether it’s graceful or not.

And naturally, it reminded me that wild animals don’t have borders. If they need to leave a place for whatever reason, they can easily do so.

One stroke at a time, a perfect metaphor for anyone who is on a healing journey, anyone who is taking the risk to change, anyone who is challenging the status quo. Just seeing someone else doing it gives me the courage to keep on keeping on.

MEDITATION FOR THE DAY: Progress, not perfection. One stroke at a time.

PLEASE SHARE: I’d love to hear about a moment of poetry in your life. Join the conversation below!



bottom of page