The River of Life.

Jaime Jackson shares his reflections after a week rafting the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. Spending time with family and friends and taking time to rejuvenate, Jaime describes how the river itself offers metaphors for life, reflecting many of his own core values.

Rocky, smooth, fast, slow, wavy calm.

In control, out of control.

Above the water, below the water.

Beautiful. Scary.

Can I do this? Yes you can!

I can’t believe we just did that.

Preparation, preparation, preparation.


Calm: cool as a cucumber.

Paddle forward, paddle backward, paddle together, paddle slow and steady, paddle hard. Stop. Float. Relax, and enjoy the ride.

Solo. In your own ducky.

Or with a guide. Together. A team. Teamwork.

Take a hike. Climb that mountain.

Look before you leap. Jump.

Get started. Just go already.

Brace yourself and hang on.

Pick your line and go for it.

You never step in the same river twice. The river is never the same and you are never the same.

Respect the river. Respect life.

Don’t fight the current. Go with the flow. Keep swimming.


Leave it a better place than you found it for you being there.

Do not take it for granted.

The same, but different.

Stuff happens.

Pass it on.

Look. Look up at the stars.

Look out for snakes.

Look out for others. Watch for falling rocks.

Be aware. Pay attention.

Reflect often.

Take the risks. Know the consequences.

Have fun. Laugh. Smile.

Find your flow.

Carry your load. Pull your weight.


Put your phone and laptop away every now and then.

Feel the rain, don’t just get wet.

Reach a paddle out to someone who is drowning.

What is your story? Tell me more.

Eddy out.

Lead. Follow.

The more stuff you have, the heavier the load, and more troubles.

Try new things.

Push your limits. Your limits are further than you think. But know your limits; you can’t always do everything.

Patience. 3 mph.

Sleep out under the stars.

Be courageous, be bold. But don’t be stupid.

Leave your anger, frustrations, worries, and stress in the river.

Soar like an eagle.

Climb like a mountain goat. Descend like a bighorn sheep.

Swim upstream like a salmon.

Know when to bite and when not to bite, like a cutthroat trout.

You can go under in an instant. You may never pop back up. Your life can end in a flash. There may be no more tomorrows. Time is short. Take what is left of your life and live it properly.

The river is going to take you where it wants you to go. Life is going to take you where it wants you to go. You can prepare, paddle, and steer.

The river of life, fate, destiny are going to take you where they want you to go, but along the way, paddle hard, paddle slow and steady, don’t paddle at all, sit back and enjoy the ride, prepare, focus, and know where you want to go.

Fight hard. Go with the flow. Go against the current. Go your own way. Go solo, go with a guide, go with a team.

Look around, soak it in and enjoy the ride.

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