There are many types of stones and rock ranging in hardness and density and color and texture. All across the world different stones show up at the surface of our planet. And when they do arrive, coming up from the depths of the earth, they are fresh and new – even when they are extremely old. Their form and substance is shaped from the passage to above; their fundamental nature is imposed before we ever even toss a single stone in the river.
But once they emerge in to the light, weathering begins. It can be a deluge, it can be a mist, or sunny. In all cases, the elements have an immediate effect to harden, to carve, to wash away and to bring out different characteristics: on the way to the river, the rocks’ shapes start to shift and change, to undergo metamorphosis. And sooner or later, all stones are brought to one river or another in some manner: in padding, skidded or bounced, tumbled down an embankment or tossed in by able hands.
And while there are many rivers in the world – wide and flowing; with boat traffic; little more than a trickle in a nearly dry stream bed – some are truly wild. It’s up to a captain to ensure safe passage on any river. But I suppose you can never can tell about the captain until you get there.
And there are so many forces in any river – current, flood, drought, silt, other rock or even a dam now and again. It can be difficult to navigate for even the most competent oarsman, it can demand and shake the very confident of the most worthy seafarer. We are all ultimately lost to the sea; it’s passage that we enjoy and relish.
Heather and I found and were tossed two rocks which we gently placed in our river. We know that as we navigate the ever changing tides in our little boat, it’s important to moderate the flow over our boys, keep it in check. Keep if from overwhelming them, from undermining them, from carrying them away.
Our river is beautiful and we love it. Our boys love to skip stones in it, we love its flow. But like a good whitewater rafter, we also do everything we can to keep K & O tucked in the eddies of our own quickly weathering stones; keep them safe while we quickly, deftly and jointly work to build their boats and teach them to sail. We know that some day, and we don’t really know when, they will captain their own vessel on their own waters.
We have pretty intense schedules and lives. Things tip our applecart, things knock us off our rails. It’s mostly our own doing and we make the most of it. Every opportunity that has come our way by luck, work, or birth we have leveraged. It sometimes results in strife, and difficulty and tremendous speed; often it results in reward. We always do our best to keep our boys in our eddies until their boats are ready.
Today we visited our friends Matt, Stacey and Ben. While there, Kyle locked-in on a Hess firetruck. He played with it for an hour, pushing it around the floor, turning the lights on and off, making the sirens blare. He played mostly by himself, but at one point he took me into a darkened bathroom to see the trucks lights. While laying on the floor eyes fixed on the toy he joyfully whispered to me: “Papi, it’s soooo beautiful“.
Our little stone played and played. For now both are safely in our eddies.
I hope we navigate well.