This is not necessarily the best time of year to run outside, but it is the most interesting. I have the good fortune to run in the country. Since the Fall season began, each day I have noticed changes. First, of course, is the changing of the colors from greens to golds and reds. Eventually the leaves start to fall, leaving new opportunities for discovery.
Today was a brook. Now I’ve run down the hill along side this brook many times. I think two things made me notice it more this day. The first is that summer roadside foliage had kept it hidden. Secondly, the recent rain had made it louder and more forceful.
And so I stopped, stared, and listened.
The path of the water was hidden by debris it had carried along. Instead of running over it, it had carved a path beneath. And yet still it twisted and turned in spite of not knowing where it was going. But to the brook, it didn’t matter. It knew where it had been. The future would take care of itself as it left even more debris in its wake; making a bit of noise along its journey.
I’ve always been fascinated by water. I love its power and the noises it makes. I love watching it lap at the shoreline, depositing and then taking away. Sometimes it is gentle and sometimes it is ferocious. But always, it is deliberate. One of my favorite experiences is hearing the frozen water go out in the Spring with a mighty roar, leaving no question of its intent or power!
Water provides us with energy, and is powerful enough to override other forms of energy. It laughs at you and with you, often times the difference being more your mood than its own. It quenches our thirst. It soothes us. And when we dance in the rain, it rejoices with us.
I’m the running water in the brook. I am impetuous. I push on through no matter what. Often times, indeed, leaving debris as a mark of my having been there. I create my path; turning here and there, stopping at times to build up my resources before continuing on. Sometimes I am quiet as I pass through, and sometimes you know only too well I have passed by. If there is something blocking my way, I will find a way around, through, or over.
And like the little brook today, I will not concern myself too much with the future. I know where I have been. The future will take care of itself. As I travel, I will take along with me a bit of debris, perhaps depositing some of it along the way, only to make room for more.
But one thing I do that this little brook does not. I take time for now. I stop my meandering and my impetuousness, if only for a moment. But that is not the work of a little brook. That is the work of a puddle.