I was thinking about people and their behaviours, and particularly the way we all approach our lives.
Sometimes I sense a difference in how we handle flow. Events will just happen anyway, but the way we relate to those events can determine how we feel to other people.
Perhaps some people are like rivers.
New experiences are welcomed into the flow, and made part of the whole movement, for good or ill. Rivers very much follow a journey. They travel around mountains, prefer comfortable valleys, and gradually etch into the landscape a habitual pattern.
Maybe people who behave like rivers are welcoming, but also busy. If you get into the current in the wrong place or at the wrong time, you might get into difficulties. But, on the positive side, they provide much-needed resources, and little communities emerge around them. Rivers have a lot of character, and when they finally flow into the sea, there is no doubt that the flow has been long and varied.
Perhaps some people are like lakes.
Lakes are often still, and anything new and unusual, while accepted into the stillness, is often allowed to drop to the bottom. The lake is what it is. It grows a little when there is rain, and shrinks a little when there is sun. It’s appearance changes with the weather, but it is always in the same place, getting used to its surroundings, settling in.
People who live like lakes seem very independent, sometimes stubborn. They can appear unreactive to events, as though they don’t really care. But they are often a destination for those seeking refuge and stillness. Lakes can become homes for little communities, who can afford to fight there, because lakes themselves do not fight.
Lakes stay for as long as there is some resource flowing in, and a space to store things. They need no more than that.
And perhaps some people are like rain.
Rain is always falling, making everyone wet, unless they protect themselves. Rain gets its strength from clouds, gathers itself, and then lets go in a deluge of dampness. Rain has always been here on the earth, pretty much as long as life has. Rain is on the one hand essential to life and growth. On the other hand, it floods us periodically, and too much of it can bring infection and illness.
People who live like rain are perhaps always gathering stories of how terrible the world is, but also stories that raise our empathy. They’re hugely reactive, and when they reach hills and other obstacles, down comes the deluge… they can’t help it.
Rain drifts with the landscape, pouring itself with the weather and the seasons, spreading itself thinly across wide communities. Rain comes and goes in a flurry of reactivity, and leaves its mark when it’s gone.
I don’t feel like summarising today.
Take from this what you will.
Maybe one thing I am learning, is not to judge the difference approaches to life. Just like rivers, lakes and rain, every way of being has its advantages and disadvantages, pleasures and pains. Perhaps, even, we are all these things at different times. Maybe on some days we feel full of flow, and are like rivers; on some days, we just want to be still, like lakes; and on some days, life permeates us, and we fall like rain.