Row Your Boat Series #3: Gently

Row Your Boat Series #3: Gently

"Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream,
Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily,
Life is but a dream."

“He was a gentle person.” 
“She was a gentle spirit.” 
“It was a gentle experience.”
“That was a gentle time.”

This is one of the most underrated adjectives we have. Gentle people are usually kind. Gentle experiences are typically desirable. Gentle times in our lives are often those we look back upon favorably.

When death descends. When we are in the depths of grief. When we are navigating any of life’s dark storms, there are many words to describe what we are experiencing, but “gentle” is not one of them.

“Harsh.” “Tormented.” “Painful.” “Chaotic.” “Tortured.”
The aftermath of loss is many things, however, it is not gentle.

When we are adrift in our row boat,
When the dark oceans of grief are pounding us from all sides,
When the storms of despair feel like they will drown us,
What we want, need, and long for is something gentle, someone gentle, anything gentle to return to our lives.

Although there is so much rowing that needs to be done amidst the chaotic, turbulent, violent storms of grief - there is nothing more important than being kind, patient and gentle to those in need and to ourselves. 

Row towards gentle people, groups and communities.
Row towards gentle shores, places and spaces.
Row towards gentle hobbies, activities, diversions and experiences.
Most of all, row as gently as possible during a far from gentle time in your life.

Baruch HaLevi