Months and months and days ago I dropped a stone into a river.
It held the truth wrapped in expectations of justice and consequence. The speed and angle of its descent didn’t matter. Neither did those whispered wishes that bound it. They were more about summoning courage than exerting control. I was the one whispering. And only to me.
The riverbed had been there long. It was firmly established. Connected to the landscape. My stone barely had an impact. For me, it was so heavy. In the water, it made one small splash and then it sunk to the bottom, mattering little. I should have known.
I know it sits there. I sense its weight as if it still rests in my hand. The solid feel of rock. All its angles, ridges, smooth places. I remember the committed grasp of my fingers holding firm. And then letting go. Dropping that stone made ripples in every aspect of my life. That time was huge and heavy. Like I was held fast and the world swirled angrily by. I felt buried deep. Like swimming not to drown. There was never enough air. It was as if I swallowed cement. But that was fear. Not of the truth. Rather of the consequences of telling it.
Fear is cold and lonely.
I dropped that stone forever ago. Waiting has been cruel.
But time passes as time does. Moves us back into regular rhythms.
My thoughts moved from the stone to the river. The water was calm. Cold. Frozen. Still. Now it is rushing away, surging and noisy in the spring. One stone is inconsequential.
I have followed time away from that river. Walked in different directions. Tried not to circle back. Although sometimes I was lured.
My stone remains. Submerged. Still.
It’s important that I held it. That I dropped it. Let it go. With its release went all of my control. I have never known anything so much as I know this. One sharp intake of breath. On the water flowed. Breathe out.
The rules of gravity are all about one direction. I can’t will that stone to begin rising. I can’t hope that at some depth, deep down in the mud or moving through the murky shallows, it will be seen again. It sits on the bottom, not buried, but going nowhere.
That stone was never really mine. I merely bewitched it, wrapped it in my truth, linked it to me. It doesn’t call for me. I don’t long for it. Just sometimes I question how it wasn’t really seen. Water has a way of making a simple stone shine. But only if you are standing there, ready to notice. Not looking off into the distance conscious of other things.
There are many paths around this river bank. Into the trees. Towards the mountains. Under the warm sun. I have stood and considered them all. My gaze is fixed ahead. I am walking away.
I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post every day in March.
Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I thank them for the community they provide. Read more slices here.