Marcia Newman

Psychotherapist, Conscious Aging Consultant & Author

Take Me to the River

Hello Dear Ones,

Waking up in the morning to gentle drops of rain is pure joy. Here in Southern California, the parched earth is receiving whatever moisture is being given. It’s been months and months since the rain has come. Images of the African Serengeti wildlife come to mind. As the rain falls, I picture their animal excitement and their natural migration to the river. For what reason? To drink it in. 

I’ve not actually been to Tanzania. Not yet. Some things require patience. Sigh.

A juicy realization floats to the surface. How many moments do I lose when I’m longing for places where I am not? Too many. In the meantime, the rain has come! 

Person hugging a tree by a river
Photo by James Barrass - Yosemite National Park,
alongside one of its mighty rivers and Marcia appreciating a majestic tree.

Sheepishly re-directed, my focus returns to the arriving raindrops. Gratitude arises and I say “Thank you for coming to help soothe this thirsty, scorched land.” Hopefully, this showering will also touch those parched places within each one of us.

Like the rain, aging has a way of flushing things out. We become more exposed to the signs of our aging bodies and those of our loved ones. Yes, it all requires more important maintenance. It’s also pointing to the reality of our limited time on earth. One of my favorite practices is to ask myself if this was my last day, how would I want to feel? Who and what matters to me most?  Then giving myself permission to live that way, knowing the rain has come.

If you’re struggling, don’t pretend you’re not. In expanding your loving awareness, you have a chance to leave nothing out. Dare to welcome it all. No abandoned parts need to rust away in the lonely junkyard of our unfinished past or anxious future. There is so much help that is available. 

We can bring our whole selves into the river of healing of this present day. Ask for help. Don’t overthink it. Find what resource(s) work for you.

Recently, I returned from one of my own favorite migrations. It involved crossing a major body of water to arrive on the stunning shores of Australia with its familiar outback experiences. I had accepted the invitation of Prem Rawat, global peace ambassador and best-selling author, to participate in a week-long outdoor-based International Peace Conference. With much personal effort and those of so many others, I did get drenched in sweet clarity and gratitude. This life-enhancing experience and my daily practice as taught by Prem, continue to strengthen my hope for humanity.

In closing, remember the chorus from legendary Al Green’s Take Me to the River? Here’s a 2005 remastered version by the classic rock group, Talking Heads. I’d suggest you turn up the volume!

Take me to the river, drop me in the water
Push me in the river, dip me in the water
Washing me down, washing me.

Go ahead. Dance it out. Go with it. We’re still alive! Let’s keep drinking it in.