Rollin’ On The River

Left a good job in the city
Workin’ for the man ev’ry night and day
And I never lost one minute of sleepin’
Worryin’ ’bout the way things might have been

Big wheel keep on turnin’
Proud Mary keep on burnin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

Rollin’, rollin’,
rollin’ on the river

Sometimes  . . .
you hear something your entire life, and yet simply don’t understand it.  Until, one day, it all makes sense.

I finally understood what John Fogerty was saying when he wrote the immortal, Proud Mary.  “Rollin’ on the river“,  a snippet of a song lyric I have been listening to since I was in high school, only now makes sense to me, having lived it.

John told about escaping the work-a-day life in the big city, to follow his dreams on the big river.

A sentiment as true today as in years gone by.

Even now, everywhere we look, we see working folk who have sought out this destination to escape their real world of economic servitude.

And when they escape, the run to the river.

It is evident every night we play at Bumper’s Landing.  They come from all over, and they arrive not just to eat, drink or to commiserate with others; they come to escape the unyeilding world that beats them down, day after day.  The real world that gnaws at them, little by little, until one day, there is almost nothing left.

They come here to wash off all the grime and the callousness that our world hurls at us, and become reborn in the process.

Somehow, the big river has the capacity to take us all in.  To nurse us from the bosom of her bounty. To heal our wounds, to renew our spirit.  We congregate at the river to feel safe, to feel well, to feel young again.

Carl and I gather on Saturday each week in the summer to pay homage to the river; and in doing so, help others renew the wellspring of their souls.

We sought out the river as others did, not knowing just why.  We are not boaters.  We do not urn to play on the waves, buoyant and carefree.  We are drawn (I believe), by the timelessness of the waters themselves.  Drawn by the fact that they may surge or recede, but they will truly never end.

Yes, part of what we unconsciously seek is one more opportunity to bathe ourselves in the timelessness of its never-ending waters.  (metaphorically speaking.). To stand by the banks of immortality, as if maybe some small current will sweep us in, forever granting us life, reaffirmed!

Boaters are truly drawn to it.  They need to be near it.  They are happiest by or on it.

Could it be the fountain of youth they have sought all along?

Carl and I may not fully understand it, but neither can we dispute the certainty of it unfolding each and every week.  They come not just for the song or the ale.  Not just for the natural gregariousness or camaraderie; they seek out a chance to be cleansed by those timeless waves, no matter how brief.

I have come to believe that is why they are so happy, these aquatic folk.  The have found the fountain of youth.

It is just a theory, you must understand.  And yet, I would be hard pressed to dismiss the results.  We return each week to play music for truly happy people who seem to never age.

For now, we’ll keep it to ourselves.  What’s next, the secret of lifelong happiness.  (That’s simple, spend the rest of your life in love with your best friend.)

We just hope that all of that soul-renewal stuff rubs off on us, a little bit each week.

And, while we’re on the subject, what particular water works best at re-growing hair?

Rb

Proud Mary
John Fogerty
Left a good job in the city
Workin’ for the man ev’ry night and day
And I never lost one minute of sleepin’
Worryin’ ’bout the way things might have been
Big wheel keep on turnin’
Proud Mary keep on burnin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Cleaned a lot of plates in Memphis
Pumped a lot of pane down in New Orleans
But I never saw the good side of the city
‘Til I hitched a ride on a river boat queen
Big wheel keep on turnin’
Proud Mary keep on burnin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
If you come down to the river
Bet you gonna find some people who live
You don’t have to worry ’cause you have no money
People on the river are happy to give
Big wheel keep on turnin’
Proud Mary keep on burnin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

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