I am open and aware to the sensations of the wet rocks beneath my feet, and I feel grateful for the instinctual reactions my feet make with every step. Their sturdiness and nimbleness give me confidence to wade through shin-deep water barefoot.
As I come into an opening on the winding stream, there’s a shift in the lighting and a subtle change to the air around me. The trees seem to have parted their ways to open the forest canopy for the Sun.
My body slows to a stop, and suddenly all I can hear and all that I’m aware of is the fierce whoosh of the water, and still, there is a silence.
As the water rushes towards me drowning out stray thoughts, a new thought emerges.
This river will always be here.
When I leave to go home, at 2 a.m. while I’m asleep, 10 years from now, next lifetime, this river will endure. Crashing over rocks, carving new turns, and smoothing hard edges.
I’m struck and captivated in its reverence.
Like a fisherman who had cast out his line, in one attempt, this thought hooked my mind.
“Ponder this”, it asked.
“When you leave, this river will keep flowing. On, and on, and on.”
The line reeled out quickly as my mind trailed off with the fast-moving current.
The question: what keeps this river flowing? suddenly crystalizes into my mind. I am held in suspension inside of its tractor beam.
The river is mechanistic in its consistency. Nature is the supreme master of demonstrating the ability to hold paradox – it shows you its engineered patterns, eerie rationality, and predictability alongside its destruction, chaos, and auspiciousness.
This river is abiding.
I pause at the edge of a large rock and look down as I watch particles of water rush by me. I’ll never see that one again…or that one…or that one…or any of these.
I want to slow down this movie reel so I can be with each particle of water, cheering it on as it makes it’s way towards it’s destiny, holding my breath as it crosses right in front of me, and then saying good bye as it ushers downstream.
I must make peace with the reality that I can’t speak personally to each one. That I can’t indulge and savor in the beauty of every single particle that washes by.
And yet the river will not cease to flow. It will endure despite my grief, with what feels like an unemotional and pragmatic sense of duty.
What and where is this energy source that brings life and movement to this river?
There must be some sort of, er, power plant supplying an endless supply of energy? Right? How does it do it? Is there an on/off switch? An outlet that it plugs into?
I quickly scoff at the silliness of my juvenile questions.
I’m frozen in my stance as my mind races to catch up with the stream of information downloading through this etheric fishing line.
I notice myself noticing this moment, and I shoo away my rational mind from disrupting my hypnosis with concerns of how late it is getting.
I want to stay hooked into this stream; I want this flow of information to pour into me. I do not want it to end.
There is a peace and an emptiness to this moment. A trance of stillness gently consumes me and I continue to stare straight through the river.
“This energy that powers this river, also powers you.”
I can feel my pupils constricting to focus in on this message. Did I just hear that? Wait, say it again?
“You are powerful, just like this river.”
The more I attempt to focus, the more I feel it slip away. Wanting to stay in contact, I soften my eyes and I expand my perception to receive this teaching. I open my body to allow this transmission to take root.
“The same energy flows through you. You can access the power of this energy any time you choose. You choose.”
I feel timeless and at the same time I begin to sense the signal waning – as quickly as the hook landed, it is unhooked as the fisherman releases his line. I gather up all the remaining bytes of information and lingering thoughts and seal them inside of me.
The same energy that flows through this river, also flows through me.
I am powerful and everlasting, just like this river.
We share the same breath; we experience each other.
We are not separate, I am not separate.
And with that final reflection, the hook releases, my reverie sobers, my body re-animates, and I continue to walk ahead.
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