This morning, I went for coffee and took a short walk near the river outside Starbucks. The peaks around me were covered in snow. A recent storm had seemingly placed every flake strategically upon the branches of the trees. The water in front of me reflected the morning sun and I sat memorized by the majestic beauty surrounding me.

With my coffee in hand, I watched the shallow water as it flowed down the river; the banks covered in white. A small trout moving through the water caught my attention. I was captivated in that moment; not able to take my eyes off his faded rainbow colors. I watched him curiously as he swam against the current, his tail moving furiously against the downward flow of the river. He moved towards three small rocks, located in a trio near the center of the river. Naturally and instinctively, he tucked in towards the base of the stones. Using them as a haven and a place of refuge against the steady flow of the river, he floated gently in place as the water circled around him. While he was still being guided along the path, this moment of sanctuary allow him to regain strength, momentum and focus.

Then, with ease and clarity, he moved forward from under the stones. He was again caught by the gentle current. Rather than fighting it or resisting, he moved with the water allowing himself to be carried briefly downstream. His tail slowly steering him in the desired direction.

His movement was graceful. It was effortless and natural. It required no thought; only instinct. This small creature was not in fear. He did not move from place to place as a results of some eminent threat, but rather from an intuitive necessity for long term survival and well-being.

  • Where are you swimming upstream- fighting feverishly against the flow? How tired are you?
  • Who or what are your rocks? Your places of refuge and your havens?
  • How do you know when to move forward and when to stay in haven?
  • What are you resisting that might require you to pause and “go with the flow”?
  • How might you listen to your own intuition and know when movement is required for your ability to thrive?

Note: Paying attention to the world around us can offer clues and insights to guide us on our journey. I often find myself using the reality of what surrounds us as a metaphor to address challenges and explore opportunities available in our lives.