Jeannie Bruenning Author

Tubing Through Life

Every been tubing? It was a favorite summer activity as a teen. We’d drive to the middle of nowhere, pay our fee and climb on an old school bus painted hunter green. With a strong enough imagination, you could pretend you were traveling with the Partridge Family. The bus would transport us up a winding road, hugging close to the edge of the river. In tow was a trailer filled with big black inner tubes.

When we arrived to our destination, the bus quickly emptied and its passengers made our way to the river bank. At the same time, the bus driver made his way to the trailer and with the pull of the end of a single rope, giant inner tubes donut rolled down the incline and landed in the water.

In a blink, Partridge Family bus guests forgot they were on tour and dove into the water to catch an inner tube before it floated off.

Once captured, the next challenge was mounting the black rubber vessel. Some would fling it over their heads and allow it to settle at their waist. The next challenge was figuring out how to get their legs up through hole.

Other’s would do the daring backwards leap in hopes their butts would land dead center. Seventy-five percent of the time both human and tube would capsize, throwing the human in the water and the tube in the air.

The preferred method was to belly flop on top of the tube and once balanced, roll over allowing gravity to pull our butts through the hole. Once securely settled in, our feet were free to kick the air, arms were wrapped around the warm rubber tire, head leaned back resting on tube, allowing the current to take us down the river.

No matter how one mounted the tube, once safely on board the river did the rest of the work. For the next few hours, the river was in control and there was no doubt it would take us to the where we needed to go.

In the past year I’ve experienced moments in life that felt like I was still tubing. Moments where things fell into place, strangers I needed to meet crossed my path, opportunities bumped into me and all the while I was just floating along on my inner tube trusting the river. It felt easy. It felt amazing. It felt right.

Those moments have turned into a preferred way of life. A life filled with anticipation to see who I’ll bump into, or what adventure will find me around the next bend. But nothing really needs to happen because floating peacefully down stream, safely tucked away in my big black warm inner tube, is pleasure enough.

There are a few secrets to tubing through life: the first is learning to trust the River. Call it whatever you’d like, Universe, Source, Light, my preference is God; you’ll never begin floating until you begin trusting that the River will take you to where you need to be.

The second is to stay in your own tube and don’t invite anyone to ride along – you’ll likely capsize. The third is to let go of anything that would keep you anchored, bound, tied or tethered, you can’t hold on and move at the same time.

Jumping into the river can be scary. Mounting your tube can be challenging. But once you’ve figured it out, floating down the River is a blast and you’ll never want to live any other way.

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