I watch in amusement as the squirrely, tattooed driver (with an apparent love of country music) bobs up and down in his seat on the old, rugged school bus. The humid Texas air is whipping through my unforgiving hair. Bandera, Texas to be exact. A town I never even knew existed before this day in late July.
We make a quick turn onto yet another dirt road before the bus comes to an abrupt halt. The driver hops up and leads all of us eager passengers out of the bus before unloading the large blue tubes that will serve as our transportation for the next two hours down the Medina River.
The water is unusually low this summer, which is somewhat of a blessing for our particular group of inexperienced “tubers”, but unfortunate for our feet, which would end up propelling us through part of our course.
After our sloppy decent down the embankment and into the warm, shallow water….we began to find our groove (if I’m being generous). As I situated myself in my tube enough to find a happy medium between relaxed and efficient, I looked forward at the long stretch of still water, and then up. All I could see were rows and rows of tall, charming Cypress trees lining and hovering over the river, with peaks of sunlight flooding through. No sounds but the trickling of the water through the rocks and the slight brush of the trees.
In the day’s leading up to this excursion, my son’s and I spent a lot of time in San Antonio; a city with no shortage of people and things to do. This was the biggest vacation to date I have taken with the boys, including their first airplane flight, to visit my Sister in her new location.
If you have kids, you know that family vacation’s are a wonderful time to build memories, but also a lot of work. But in that moment, on the river tucked away from everything mainstream and distracting….all we had to do was float. Just float and move forward at our own pace.
And sometimes, that is all our soul needs.