The journey of water as it flows upon the earth can be a mirror of our own paths through life. Water begins its residence on Earth as it falls from the sky or melts from ice and cascades down a mountain into a tributary or stream. In the same way, we come into the world and begin our lives on Earth. Like a river that flows within the confines of its banks, we are born with certain defining characteristics that govern our identity. We are born in a particular time and place, into a specific family, and with certain gifts and challenges. Within these parameters, we move through life, encountering many twists, turns, and obstacles along the way—just as a river flows.
Water is a great teacher that shows us how to move through the world with grace, ease, determination, and humility. When a river breaks at a waterfall, it gains energy and moves on. As we encounter our own waterfalls, we may fall hard, but we always keep going. Water can inspire us not to become rigid with fear or hold fast to what is familiar. Water is brave and does not waste time clinging to its past but flows onward without looking back. At the same time, when there is a hole to be filled, water does not flee from it, fearful of the dark; instead, it humbly and bravely fills the empty space. In the same way, we can face the dark moments of our life rather than running away from them.
Eventually, a river will empty into the sea. Water does not hold back from joining with a larger body, nor does it fear a loss of identity or control. It gracefully and humbly tumbles into the vastness by contributing its energy and merging without resistance. Each time we move beyond our individual egos to become part of something bigger, we can try our best to follow the lead of the river.