The Rock in the River – Staying Young – Joan Small

This video about ‘The Rock in the River’ explains the stages of life and how to discover and retain our essence as we age.

The Rock in the River

I stood in the shallows of a cool mountain stream.
The water was crystalline clear.
I stooped with cupped hand to drink from its sweetness
But paused, charmed by what I could hear –
The soft gentle babble, the river’s sweet tune
As it tumbled smooth pebbles along.
The surface was calm, but the waters beneath
With currents were rapid and strong.

While in the stream’s centre was placed a tall rock
That rose from the water quite steady.
Despite rippling currents and patterns they made
That rock didn’t budge – it was ready.
It seemed to be telling the river these words:
‘You can rush and can push – do your best,
You will not weaken me, I will stand in this space.
I can withstand and pass any test’.

I was turning away when my eye caught a glimpse
Of a leaf that was dancing along
On the surface, afloat, it was having some fun
And it seemed to be singing a song.
‘I’ll go with the flow, wherever you go,
Your path is my path. I’ll have fun.
I’ll follow the stream to the end if I must.
My choice is the currents – each one’.

It brought to my mind the flows of our lives,
How we’re born then we live, learn and die.
When we’re young like the leaf we can play, live in ‘now’,
And every adventure we’ll try.
With no thought of the future we float right along
With laughter and spirit of play.
If we’re swamped we bounce back, we can’t be kept down
Looking forward to every new day.

With maturity we’re like those pebbles that roll,
As life’s problems may tumble us on.
We’re striving for more – money, safety and ‘things’
And we’re feeling depressed – put upon –
Forgetting ourselves and the spirit of play
Lose gratitude, love, even worse –
Our health may be compromised, worry sets in
And happiness swapped for a nurse.

In the third age these pebbles may soon be worn down
And sink to the bottom to lie,
While the water flows past, the adventure has gone,
The excitement of life passes by.
In order to ‘not know’ the beingness lost
They forget who they are and just dream
Until life departs, and they’re buried in sand,
Lying there in the bed of the stream.

If we don’t want to be like those pebbles that sink,
Are tumbled and worn down with strife,
We can be like the rock, staying steady and strong
Determined to stand firm in life.
When we’re buffeted by many worries and woes
Or attempts made to roll us along.
We can choose to ‘just be’, take a breath and stand firm,
Know ourselves, take a stance and be strong.

For the number one goal of each life that we live
Is to know our own essence, just be
Who we are; love ourselves, with our failings and faults,
For the person who stands is ‘just me’.
We don’t need to follow, unless it feels good,
We can listen to others’ ideas,
But the test is to know which way we should go;
Choose our path without doubting or fears.

When we stand in our space, full of confidence, love,
And face up to life without fear.
Disagreements will vanish and love will abound.
The meaning of life will come clear.
Like the rock in the river we don’t need to push,
Or to go against life’s river-flow.
We can influence others when we learn to ‘just be’,
And wherever we go we will glow.

© Joan Small April 2013