The River

As I sat next to the crystal clear turquoise river that shapes the various waterfalls of the Supai Nation, and I began to think : is the river the water, or is it the rock beneath it? Is it the substance that flows over it constantly, always coming, always leaving? Or is it the solid, nearly permanent structure that shapes the water? 

That got me thinking even more. What is the success story of the river? How does it work SO well? I came to the conclusion that the river is a symbol of two things: consistency and change.
Obviously, two pretty contradictory terms. The river represents consistency in that it will most likely never visibly change in my lifetime. It will always flow, it will always move in the same direction and it will always look generally the same. It’s consistent. I can count on it.

 

But it changes. 

 

On a micro level, this river is a constant world of change. NOTHING is the same. Ever. From every ripcurl and bubble to ever splash and turn. Somehow, in its endless stability, the river offers something even more powerful: 100% change. Complete movement.

 

This brings me back to my first thought, is the river the water or is it the rock? It’s both, and that’s completely essential. The stability and the rigidity of the rock offer a canvas for the water to paint beautiful and delicate strokes on top of. The unchanging backdrop provides confidence and sure-footing for the curious little water to explore and discover. The best part is that discovery ultimately leads to slow and steady change of the rock beneath. That rock is on a super slow path toward something, too. Growth. As the water dances over it, the rock becomes pliable to each dash and swirl. And over time, both the water and the rock grow and grow and grow.

 

How can I apply this to me? I think the base of my person, my backbone, needs to almost unchanging. I need to have purpose, conviction, a solid foundation for what and who I am. But in top of that, I need to explore wildly every possible avenue for movement, progress and growth. I need to make wrong turns and find dead ends. I need to get frustrated and turbulent, but I need to keep moving. MOVEMENT is the key to growth. I need direction, ANY direction, and I need to move.

 

Final thought: Stasis causes stagnation. Movement equals growth.

Havasu

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