How many people do you know who are “solid as a rock”? Steadfast and unshakeable, they inhabit a predictable place in the universe and provide reliable support when needed.
That’s good, right? We admire those people and want to be like them, except when our soul calls out for growth and action, or empathy. In those cases the resolute and stoic permanence of rock only frustrates.
When we crave growth, birth and usefulness, we might choose to emulate people who live like trees. Trees breathe, clean our air, nourish us with the fruits and nuts, and give us shelter and beauty. The liveliness of trees sustains us.
That’s good, right? We admire the active community roles of those people and want to be like them, except when we feel stuck in one place and our soul cries out with a need to move on. In those cases the rootedness of trees exasperates.
When we need to flow, we look to water people for inspiration. Water doesn’t like to stay in one place. It seeks movement and shapes the environment to achieve it, wearing down rocks and landscapes through its persistence.
That’s good, right? We admire the achievements and perseverance of those people and want to be like them, except when our soul screams for rest in a place of solid strength. In those cases, the ceaseless flow saps our resources.
I choose all of the above.
I clamber out of crashing waves, stretch out full on a flat stretch of Canadian shield granite, stare up at the shelter of spruce branches growing toward the sky. The trees breathe with me as I recuperate and prepare to dive into the waters again.