I would like to be a rock in this river
to feel the ever constant movement of wild water
and the current’s caress like a love affair for all time.
I came down to the rocky banks and let my toes sink
into the silky mud and disappear
until I was as rooted as the trees
who lean so far over the river as if to lay down
but they are held there by the Earth’s great grip.
Sunlight harsh and raw blazes on my skin.
Still, I am still stuck here standing
as the breeze, cool from the shadows, passes by
and my skin sighs.
The barn swallow swoops to her nest
and I hear her babies cry in celebration
their open anticipating mouths hungry for whatever she brings
Just as I free my feet and step forward
a great blue heron is startled from its shadowed perch.
Its cry is one my heart hears and knows.
In this river rushing by I am home.
My legs are numbing to the cold
as my feet search for steady rocks to step upon,
these rocks forged from the mountains
long before any time I have known.
I can leave it here in the river, all the rocks that have weighed me down.
In this blessing, I too feel the caress and love of the water’s touch.
Knowing I can never go into the same river twice
it is always, forever as time, renewed.
So it is this wisdom divines me, calls me
to take this medicine with eyes wide open
to recognize I am of mud, of rock, of tree, of bird, and yes
I am this river as much as it is itself.
In the submerging, I arrive at fresh shores
where I feel into the wind and listen.
There is a whisper lifting up from the field
where the wildflowers of thistle, wild rose, daisy and yarrow
they ever sing the song that echoes from the mountains .
I listen harder to the rhythm of the Earth beneath me –
All the voices…
What are they saying?
What am I hearing for?
A message, a koan, a map?
I would want to be a rock in this river,
but what do I know?
What do i know?