I thought initially about writing of mud and mushrooms, reflecting on the trek through muck in order to get to some unexpected nourishment. But then I walked on.
Rocks and Roots. It was definitely an afternoon of rocks and roots. I walked a mile in my own shoes among the rocks and roots.
Yesterday I spoke with a friend who is the rock of his family. I too have been accused of being the same.
Rocks are steady. They are the firm and strong. And somehow, they are expected to hold things together; until, crisis is over and then they feel unnecessary. Just a big heavy thing, crumbling into gravel with every use and walked on without much thought to the support they provide.
I walked along a path that didn’t appear to be a path at all. It appeared as though I was treading lightly over the natural formation of stones that in some manner resembled stairs up and down into the woods. I followed it along to a space called Devil’s Pool. The Lenape Tribe believed the space to be where good and evil converge. And as I sat on a rock entwined with roots of a tree that towered above me, I saw some things in the rocks I would have overlooked had I walked upon them without the moment of convening with them.
I saw the sun glint off the phosphorescent rocks twinkling in the air; and on a warmer day I may have been drawn to get closer and fall on the slippery bits into the pool the Lenape warned of in their legends.
Rock. Folks around rocks break down. And rocks do what they can to hold them together, nourishing their roots. The rock is ground down with every step. Every bit of growth that occurs through that root is nourished by that rock and credit is given to the sunshine and to the breath and to the water. Never the rock. Never the dirty muck the rock sinks in to allow the root to reach high with beauty into the light. Never the minerals, the very basic nutrients that chaff off without notice every time the rain falls or the wind blows.
My friend told me his crisis was under control and as a result, he felt…. When my rocky situations were over in my own life – After being given credit for having been a rock, there was a time for me to sink back into the dirt. Into my dirt. Into the dark and thick muck of me. Rocks don’t have rocks. It’s just how it is.
I used to believe that it was very simply being distracted by someone else, so I didn’t have to be with myself. So I didn’t have to feel what I felt, but I could fix what others wanted to feel. I believed it was easier to live in someone else’s story, because it put mine in perspective and I regained gratitude for what I have while realizing things could be worse.
But I have this friend now. I have this friend who seemed deflated after caring for someone who needed his rock persona. And in a very clear visualization, I said it’s because rocks are, by nature, stepped on. And until that moment, I hadn’t ever thought about being a rock or being stepped upon.
I realized then that I may have had it wrong. I may have had it wrong the whole time. The abused brain apologizes for everything and cannot fathom being important to anyone. And the elation of having someone need the rock reasonably has to have the corresponding reaction of deflation while feeling useless.
And none of this is to say that rocks are better than roots, or the other way ‘round. But it has me thinking about the very nature of a rock. How it cannot pull from others. A rock relies on itself to sink into the muck and pull nutrients as it can so it is sturdy and ready to support others in their journey.