Swamps have something to teach us


Editors Note: This is the last of a series from three years ago:

Lake Charles, LA

Tuesday, March 4, 2009

Dear Friends,

My retreat is in its final day now.

I don’t at all like this swampy wilderness.  It’s so bleak, uninspiring; makes me feel depressed.  We walk above it on the catwalk.  The swamp connotes the stagnation, the stuck-ness of life.  I said the other day that sin is stuck-ness.  Not growing.  Not moving.

One might ask the question: Am I in a swamp?  Is my life not going anywhere?  Is there no place to get a firm footing?

So, let’s think about that.  Where are we stuck in life?  Where’s the stagnation?
What do we need to do to paddle our canoe out of the swamp onto the river of life again and start flowing downstream.

And here’s another thought for you:  Heaven is down, not up; that is, if you apply the metaphor that life is flowing like a river.  Rivers flow down to the sea.  The ocean is a symbol for the mystical life, eternal life, the “the Other Side of Silence” as Morton Kelsey calls it in one of my favorite books.

So, figure out what’s needed to get you unstuck and flowing again.

And if it looks like you’ll be stuck for a while (as our economy has been) then . . . well, um, learn to live it / grow with it / find life while you’re waiting / talk with the people you’re stuck with.  And most of all, learn how to love the one’s you’re with.

And don’t let the frickin’  mosquitoes get you!

I’ll be on my way back to Florida after a very fruitful retreat.  Thanks for your prayers.

With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

One thought on “Swamps have something to teach us

  1. ClarkRiley March 3, 2012 / 5:27 am

    As a naturalist, I can appreciate that the swamp can be a place of important life, of still waters, of silence and beauty. Many very rare creatures live there.

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