Like Moving Water…

Erin Schaden
4 min readSep 15, 2023


I sat in our campground last weekend, listening and watching the stream do its thing. Listening to it whirl by, being ever mindful of the fact that the water was constantly changing, coming from a source, unseen, unknown, moving on below me, to places also unknown and unseen.

For a moment, I felt almost compelled to seek out the source and inevitable end of this water that blessed me with its presence. But then, I thought, I like it better that it is just here, water always but the individual droplets are constantly changing and unknowable to me.

Its origin and final destination perhaps none of my business. Instead, perhaps, mine to enjoy, appreciate, wonder about but never really know. Which led me to thoughts about life and love and living.

Life is kind of like that mountain stream, my origin and final destination are knowable but that knowledge doesn’t help me appreciate my life any better really. Perhaps instead thinking about the beginning and ending of me only serves to derail me from purposes only found when I refuse to worry about such things as beginnings and endings

Then the riparian delight made me think about love, about how many I have known and how many, in selecting the ones I did, had to, by definition, pass me by. How much and often my selection to love, or not, set off a change of events in my life that led me to places that were surprising, painful or delightful.

Which brought me up current with my love life today. It has been a weird few months. Lots of ending and beginning and starting over, and finally ending. It has been complicated, hard, painful and confusing. For all concerned, as well as the casual observer.

I feel like I have just taken a crash course in the higher degreed classes of love’s PhD. Learning for the first time, that just because you can’t live together doesn’t mean that the love has to end. The relationship can continue, move, morph, change into something perhaps even greater than the love that was ignited in the first place.

And it has been the healing waters of forgiveness, and self love that have carried me to this new and nascent being. I stand stream side and evaluate my life and feel like I am finally standing on the most firm bedrock after casting about on slippery shale for decades. I am clear in what I want, who I am and finally have the grace and confidence to accept nothing less. Why has it taken so long? And questions like this have evaporated into the ether…along with questions like where does the stream begin and end, their importance in my life shelved, making room for greater questions like:

What comes next?

How can I love everyone better, which now includes myself?

What do I want to do?

Who do I want to spend time with?

How do I want to evolve in my life with loving?

Where shall I go?

What shall I do?

Freed from the confines of questions of Him and when, I feel delivered to a place where I am finally living untethered from my ending and beginning, free to enjoy, relish even this middle time of life. Where so much is already known and perhaps best forgotten, laid away, to increase the volume for other things that I never made time for before.

So I sat at that stream’s edge, watching the water move, dance, delight its way forward, to whatever destination awaits it. I marveled at its outstanding accommodations for whatever lie in its path. Making its way around obstacles, no worse for the effort, and done with grace and ease. Watching water find its own level, always. And finally feeling like I might be able to also…

Perhaps that is the magic gift of life, learning to to find your own level, and then being patient enough with yourself to love and live your way through all the obstacles, the flotsam and jetsam. Ever meandering your way towards the only thing that is truly yours — how you love your life. And allowing that to be your compass, your true North Star that guides you forward and onward, with liquidity, fluidity and eschewing all that solid state living that consumed you this far, instead you allow yourself to become like water, making its way home and loving every minute of the journey regardless.



Erin Schaden

Who am I? I am all that I write, all that I learn, share and grow. Read and find out? Check out for more.