Lessons from Rocks and Rivers (A Poem)

Lessons from Rocks and Rivers (A Poem)

If ever you start to feel
rushed and stagnant
at the same time,
Imagine a river.
Imagine wild, rushed water
passing over
heavy rocks and boulders.

This image of the river holds a paradox: the movement of the water
and the stillness of the rocks.
And yet, there’s room for both.
Both the water and the rocks
have their place.

Remember this
when life seems to move
too quickly and too slowly all at once.
When you feel
you’re being forced
to rush ahead
in some areas of your life
and wait
in other areas
at the same time.
When you feel stuck
where you are
while time continues on.

For perhaps, in some ways,
you are a river
lined with rocks,
capable of making room
for movement and stillness
in the very same body.

Perhaps, for some things,
you will have to wait
longer than you want to.
And at the same,
a million exhales
will rise up from within you
traveling outward and onwards
from your frame.
You will still move forward
in meaningful, honest ways.

Each day is still a new day.
And there is more than one course
a river can take.
Some rivers end
in grand waterfalls
while others bend into rivulets.
Some rivers run through the woods
and others through deserts and canyons.

Wherever you find a river,
a flow of running water,
I hope you also look
for stones holding their place.
I hope you notice
there is room
for both movement and stillness
no matter where you are,
no matter the landscape.


Oh how beautifully
the rock-lined river
makes room
for movement
and stillness.


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