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

“mother!” “mother!”

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?