River meets ocean

ocean waves flowing

Two of my friends got married on the weekend. Nothing went to plan and everything went to plan. A sensational day full of love.

The day before I decided I better write something down to say in case I get too drunk. I'm copying it here. A parable and a poem.

When I wrote it a tear or two formed in my eye. More than once. The same again reading it out loud.

A parable

One of my favourite parables starts with two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way.

“Good morning”, the two young fish say.

The older fish nods at them and replies “morning boys, water’s great isn’t it.”

And the two young fish swim on for a bit before eventually one of them turns to the other and goes, “what the hell is water?”

Of course, the point of my favourite little fish parable is: The most obvious and most profound things in life are the ones right in front of us, yet they’re often the ones that are the hardest to talk about.

So forgive me, being so arrogant to think I could capture any of this beautiful moment on paper.

But I know all of us can agree, that seeing you two together, today, especially today and every other day is about as close as you can get to answering the question, “what the hell is water?”, as you can get.

So in saying that, I wrote this poem with your spirits in mind.

River meets ocean

Take me to a place

A place where the river meets the ocean,

a place where the next kiss is as good as the first,

where the promises that were made are kept,

where the free souls live

And you know where they live

Because you feel good when you’re near them,

real good

The sound of the waves need no translation,

heard from miles away,

meeting the river

The river where the good times keep on flowing,

where the rowers keep on rowing,

the ones not showing any signs,

signs that they are slowing

The river that no one knows where it’s going

One river creates another,

creates itself,

finds its way,

again again again

But they all call the ocean home

Providing, thriving, sharing, caring, loving, staring

But not too long,

there’s work to do,

adventures to be had

Can you feel that?

I can

It’s coming from over there,

Yes, those two

They’re the culprits

The ocean and

the river

But I’m sure,

you’re not complaining

I’m not

We’ve all had the chance to witness the power of the river,

energy in motion

And the grace of the ocean,

calm amongst the commotion,

I can’t tell which I prefer,

Six to one, half dozen to the other…

But what I do know,

Is that the ocean makes for a beautiful mother,

and the river?

A father many sons would rather

Transporter and caretaker

of the contents of Mother Nature’s eyelids

Years and years of tears,

shed in darkness and light,

so flowers may blossom and birds take flight

The feeling when you swim in the ocean

Or float with the river

And the water’s the perfect temperature

All sense of skin ending and water starting dissolves

The feeling words can never describe

But they try

Over silent rocks, dances the wild sea

Between silent rocks, the searching stream weaves

A grand design

River going somewhere,


The ocean accepting,

welcome to all

The most exquisite arrangement

River-waves break backwards

Ocean-waves forwards

A healing pattern

Like a splash of cool water to skin burned by the trivial,

they mad,

but they magic,

there no lie in these currents

Oh take me to a place,

to a place where the river meets the ocean


To Don and Lulu, Loudon, river and ocean,

Thank you for continually showing us where the high water mark is and giving all of us an answer to the question, “what the hell is water?”

And for teaching us all a little (a lot) about love.

Keep flowing.

I love you both.