Photos and Post by Karen Sze
On Valentine’s day of 2009, I gave white water rafting a try! It was the first day they reopened the Tully River in Australia, after a month long closure. Why you ask? Answer: Flooding upstream. There was so much rain, the roads were closed and nothing was coming through Townsville. The grocery store was so bare, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Sorry – I digress.
Raging Thunder took great care of me that day!
Waterproof camera – check
Safety orientation – check
Safety gear – On!
The sun was shining.. Paddlers – ready.
After we got comfortable with paddling, our fearless leaders met briefly to strategize the best approach to the rapids in this swollen river. All the recent rainfall have submerged a lot of the usual outcrops and have increased the speed of the rapids. At this point I realize I’ve actually signed up for a grade 4/5 rapid instead of a grade 3/4 rapid – time to ride with the waves.
What happened next was completely unexpected! Our raft flipped going through the rapid, everyone fell into the river. I was submerged for about a minute. I did panick at first but quickly reminded myself the safety orientation and surfaced.
Was I scared?! Hell YES!!
Did I swallow some sacred river water? Yes.
Did I live to tell the story? Well, yessss.
The other rafts quickly plucked us out of the river – everyone was safe! We all got back into our raft and continued the journey. When we reached a calm section, we all jumped into the river for a swim / float. It was so relaxing, I’d completely forgotten what happened just minutes ago.
Life Lesson: Go with the flow. The Universe is looking out for you. Have faith. Trust the Universe. Everything will work out. You might not get what you want but you’ll receive what you need at the time.