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Strong • Creative • Steadfast

Her Story

Astrid Manske

Wife & Mother, Artist, Musician, Teacher, Farmer, Honey Lady, Swimmer

Astrid's Story :

the Pebble and the River 
Sometimes I am the pebble,
Sometimes the ripples.
At my book-themed wedding shower, my grandmother-in-law-to-be gave me a book of poetry. In it I found a poem called ‘Drop a Pebble in the Water’ by James W. Foley. Its basic premise is that even though the dropped pebble disappears, the cascade of ripples created can have a profound effect. Same goes for the dropping of ‘an unkind word’ or by dropping ‘a word of cheer and kindness’.
Recently, pebbles of anger and hate were dropped into the river of my life, making me seriously question who I am and how I am perceived. I had to swim strong against the many ripples of false allegations, keep my head above the waves threatening my place in the community and stood in a tempest which undermined my livelihood.
Then others dropped pebbles into the waters of my life, offering ripples of support and understanding. I found a community to sustain what was threatened, and with them, rebuild my self-esteem, re-establish my livelihood and am now swimming in a great tsunami expanding concentrically for positive change.
Water plays an important part in my life. Every summer, as soon as the Indian River warms up, my friends and I swim almost every day, rain or shine. It is a quarter mile up stream, and another quarter mile back. It’s a time for swimming with your thoughts or just talking. The river absorbs your anger, hurt and tears and offers space to embrace the shared joys of friendship and trust.
Sometimes, I try to go early, to play my flute for the river. Sometimes the river answers back.
We are all pebbles and we are all rocked by each other’s ripples.