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Our Stream

There is a stream nearby my house, at the end of the street. In this instance, I liken it to life. Throughout my adolescent years, it has taken many guises. In the summer, it is but a mute trickle traveling between the pebbles unsurely like a child's first day in a new school. In the late autumn and winter when snow covers everything, awaiting frozen on the sides of roads taller than I and resembling gray ocean waves, the ice is still as if hibernating. The rocks and pebbles and skeletons of leaves are trapped beneath the surface, staring upwards into the chilly air. In the early spring, the stream is finally released from winter's embracing imprisonment as the rains arrive, stomping in with thunder that drives my dog to take shelter under a bed and lightning that splits trees in half as if they were toothpicks in a giant’s hand. Then, the stream is no longer a stream but a raging, rushing, roaring river, a tsunami on the shores.

Like the stream, life too has its changes, its obstacles, and its points of absolute stillness. We don’t know from where it comes nor to which place it will go. We build creaking bridges of wood and curiosity, and nail the planks with bolts and determination. This way, we are able to navigate across our own stream, our own pathway of water, and come out on the other side, on someone else's property. We can sit by another's stream and repeat the process.

All my friends live across this stream, and the wood is well-worn each day by familiar feet and paw prints. Crossing to the other side, we do not pause to think of the bridge under our feet, but of the destination ahead. If we did, and realized the perils of traversing such an old piece of wood, we would likely hesitate, and seek a different, longer route. Without risks, a person is stranded on his/her own side of the water, never experiencing the world beyond the waves.

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