Photo by Selby Thomas

Right now I have as much passion as a tiny, intrepid fish trapped in a little rock pool on the edge of a gushing river. The cool waters sparkle inviting me to join the roar of life swimming, surging, spilling past. I could touch the crazy creatures if they’d only slow down. I have no momentum of my own to reach their energy. I can only bide my time and observe: the flash of a kingfisher, dip of a dragonfly, cry of a curlew. They know I’m there, realise I’m stranded and they care but they have no means to build a rescue craft. I must wait for the river to swell in its own good time, and release me from my pretty prison.

A slothful toad visits, sympathises, brings news from upstream and departs. A cygnet pulls over for advice on a good route. At least I’m an experienced river dweller and I can offer guidance and feel useful. I don’t resent being cut off from the torrent. It gives me time to rest and think, to disengage, be free of others’ expectations. I am safe here too tucked away from the hungry heron and the unknown boulders protruding from the river floor. My micro-life in my personal puddle is pleasant. There is nourishment and on the odd day gentle heavenly rays warm my body. Sturdy stems surround and support me. I drift listening to the daily chatter of the chaffinches and the incessant lunge of the water of life.

My own life force is turned inward. I tread water, absorb nutrients and concentrate on sustaining myself. I am weak but not helpless. I do not even try to summon up enthusiasm to fight, to struggle free, to join the mayhem of the vital beings around me. I enjoy their passion, their joy, their pain, their gain. They are working hard to stay in the flow, having fun and moving on. They burst with pleasure, consume themselves with fury, duck and dive. Their busy bodies glisten as they activate their lives.

A wave of wistfulness washes over me – but only for a moment. I’m in no hurry to plunge into the mayhem and I’m not ready for the fast pace of the current. I still have time to strengthen and prepare myself. I know I will be welcomed back. I indulge myself in the rhythm of the river, the passion of my brave friends and caring for myself. I’m sure it’s not long to wait.

Ah, here comes the gorgeous, gentle rain. Soon my little pool will fill and I will be free to take my place.