Roots are the deeply personal convictions that form well before we arrive. They are the net around our existence that makes sense of the ultimate answer to the question why.
Who we give thanks to when we look back- those who came before us, their lessons and teachings. The roots of our families, our friends, our homes, all interconnected to what we see today, to what we strive for tomorrow, to what we value.
Our roots are both deep and shallow. Sometimes they break the surface and cause us to trip. Sometimes they redirect our path. Other times we don’t see them; they delve beneath our lives and only are visible when we stray.
But they remain. Sometimes quietly observing. Sometimes loudly guiding.
The roots carry, guide, and follow our story. They are altered by each new generation in unforeseen ways. They roll and roam and search and seek to navigate around the rocks.
The rocks serve as our lessons. They are the milestones creating our path. They represent choices made and life lived. Mistakes and successes, decisions and markers- they embody our reality. Sometimes we trip over them. Sometimes we cross them more than once.
They can cause us to skip and jump, to dodge and kick. Sometimes they are large enough to change our direction, other times we simply go around them and carry onward. Occasionally, they require us to climb and struggle, marking those moments as ones that last.
Whether they are boulders or smooth small stones, together they create our memories and joy, our laughter and sorrow. They give us guidance and purpose in the lessons they remind us we learned and those to come.
The people we share our lives with are our rocks. They shape and mold our choices, desires, and values. They share our struggles and strifes, our smiles and songs. They serve as our guideposts and a few become so important in defining our journey that they choose to roll along beside us.
Rocks stabilize the difficult moments and provide alternate routes when the rivers are too deep or too wild. These rocks change only by the force of the water that flows all around them: our life-blood.
The rivers shape Now. They ebb and flow and over time smooth the rocks and roots. The wild waters gently but firmly carve the path that will become the blood of our lives. The water powerfully arranges the bed it inhabits.
At times the current is fierce: like when we are thrust into unknown and unexpected situations. Other times the water calms and soothes: those moments when all is right within our worlds. There are rapids at times as well as small streams; all dependent on the pace of the various moments of our lives.
And while we may not always control the force or direction the river flows, we always get to choose how we navigate these waters. When we accept, enjoy, or are enthusiastic then we are present and genuine – even when things are difficult or painful. When we struggle and fight we are consumed with our own plan; therefore, we are disconnected with the force of the water, with the flow of our life.
Part of our journey includes struggling against the current. This struggle between our plan and the undertow can be painful. It is also a glorious release when we experience the freedom that comes with only controlling what we can.
And we can only control how we steer that river and the simple joy that is given when we honor our roots, our rocks, and the rivers of our life.