Going It Alone–Together. The Power of Paradox

The stream flowed through the autumn woods, steadily, but slowly.  Trees scattered leaves, like so many pieces of gold into the water.  The stream looked like it was filled with golden ships whirling and sailing to the ocean.  The stream believed it decided its own course, yet inside it knew the riverbanks and the rocks, the tree roots and the landscape all had a lot to do with where it went.  It also knew however, its destination—the ocean—home—that never changed.  And while it wavered occasionally in a pool of doubt (created by the debris left by a storm of doubts) it eventually unloosened and flowed again—but only with the help of the pull of the sea.  Even in the winter when, on the surface it was frozen with fear, just below, it flowed on, refusing to give in.  And with the warmth of the sun it gradually thawed and flowed unfettered—a visible song of hope.  One day it merged with another stream which was also heading towards the ocean.  The other stream broadened the course of the first and together they flowed as one.  After a few miles they hit hard times (which come eventually to every stream) and doubts and fears, failures and resentments clogged their path.  So they went underground, visible to no one but the roots of the trees and each other, and they flowed in the darkness, until they were ready, and when they were, they sprang up together, miles ahead, stronger than ever.  “We all have to make our own decisions,” said the first river, emerging from the ground.  “Yes,” said the second, joining hands with the first, “but we must study the land, listen to the riverbanks, and ask other streams for guidance.  We must decide for ourselves, but we needn’t ever decide alone.”  “A paradox,” laughed the first.  “Indeed,” laughed the second.  And the two rivers, laughing and murmuring their prayers to the ocean, talked and powered the waterwheels of thought as they traveled through the countryside, heading for home.

Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog

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