Row, Row, Row Your Boat...
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily…
Life is but a dream.
I hit my early forties before I realized the profound meaning hidden in this preschool rhyme. Within its simple and whimsical lines, runs a deep and eternal truth about our lives and how we perceive them.
Row, row, row… without movement there is no meaning. For an event to occur and for us to perceive it requires two objects existing relative to one another and moving within time and space. To row is to move.
What are we rowing? Our boat in this poem is clearly the consciousness of our individual life experiences. Where are we rowing these lives? We row our lives down the stream. The stream is everything around us. The stream can be thought of as our environment, the people we encounter, the thoughts we entertain, the linear time and three dimensional space in which we live.
A while back I posted a blog titled: Time, a toilet paper roll, and a paintbrush stroke.
This stroll speaks to the fascinating and relative concept of time itself. You may enjoy it.
I believe the adverb chosen in the first line of "Row, row, row your boat" is well thought out and critically important.
Gently. What an interesting choice don’t you think?
In our competitive, fast moving, and aggressive doggy eat doggy world, living our lives gently does not come up very often. It reminds me of the word meek, again, not a term that frequently appears on the Fortune 500 page. But in certain circles the gentle and the meek inherit the earth. Curious.
What about the second line; merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily? Four times, now this must be important. What does this word, merrily, mean? The Webster dictionary defines merrily as being cheerful or joyous in disposition or spirit. Nice. No wonder it gets poll position in the middle of the ditty and repeated four times. To approach our lives merrily is to be grateful but not too serious.
I have to confess I have fallen short in the merrily and the gently categories over the years.
Life is but a dream. What! Where did that come from? We were clipping along in a children’s rhyme, so we thought, and then, “Life is but a dream?”
If one believes in a transcendent, intelligent, creative, source of everything, then why not?
If one believes in the science of general relativity of space and time, then why not?
If one believes in the transitory nature of all things material, then why not?
If one believes in a dynamic and expanding universe that came into “being” at a moment in “time” during some enormous movement when time too “began,” then why not?
So, there you have it.
In a childhood rhyme we have movement, consciousness, experience, joy, and a dream.
Aren't you curious to know more about this Dreamer?
Love your thoughts. Have a great weekend, Michele