Everything happens for a reason. When that’s hard to believe, turn to nature for clarity. It teaches the dichotomy of good and bad producing beauty. Water is wet, fluid, easy-flowing. Rocks are hard, uniquely shaped, non-porous. Sounds like opposites, but when the two collide, a splendid landscape emerges.

While walking in the park, I saw a stream of water flowing down a path like it was on an appointed journey. Along the way, there were hard rocks that looked like they would deter the water from its destination. The water simply glided over, under, and between the rocks never missing a beat. The rocks represented challenges, but they never stopped the flow of the water.

Our lives are mixed with easy and hard times. A life that only flows without rocks misses the joy, revelations, and resiliency that come with experiencing challenges. A life full of rocks, can be sad, depressing, and hopeless.     

The mixture of cascading water and rocks form a remarkable balance. In people, that’s the ability to laugh, cry, share, find the good in complicated situations, get help when needed, and stand up after a fall. My grandmother used to say that bad times don’t last always. So when I find myself facing a rock in my life, I think about her words. In my 66 years, she has never been wrong!

When I was young, I wanted to be cool and popular like the pretty girls in school. Some of the very girls I envied led sad lives. Alcoholism, drug use, and abusive mates were their fate. One was killed in a car accident. As a teen, I wanted to go out with cute, older boys. My mom didn’t allow that! I was lucky to go out with anyone! But the few I dated, are still my friends today. I don’t remember the names of some of my unrequited loves. And then there were the cool girls who lived a great life! I never knew what their rocks were, but I’m sure they had some.

So how do you create a life that flows like water over rocks? This will sound corny, but it’s true! Realize that you are always in control of how you respond to any situation! As author Suzy Toronto wrote on a calendar, “When you stumble, make it part of the dance.” Equally as important, know that everything that happens in your life has meaning. Blend the two by looking for the value and positive lessons in every rock you face. It may take a minute, but when you get there you will flow like water and make every rock-challenge glisten by gliding over, under, and between it. You may learn to appreciate the struggles that made you stronger. Or maybe not, but either way when you look at yourself, you’ll see the majestic stream that you are….rocks and all!

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