March 11, 2016

Erosion

Tonight I’m thinking about erosion.

I’m in Chicago right now. I’m not sure if I can think of any immediate examples of geographical erosion in Illinois. In California, they are abundant, even right where we live among the Diablo foothills.

image of hills by Randal Beetle | flickr Photo source

Whether by water, by wind or by hand you can find nature taking a shape—a shape that in response to interaction; a shape that yields the least resistance. Like the pebbles in a creek, all things that are not broken are worn down.

We often think of erosion regretfully. We would that things could avoid the wearing down that time inevitably brings. We look at ourselves in the mirror, a weary husk of the youth and vigor we once exuded. But when I look at those hills I can see peace and serenity; an end to struggle and a sense of flow.

go with the flow

Flow itself has varying connotations. To “go with the flow” may mean to cooperate or be amenable, yet it may also mean to invest little in what you feel is right. For me, what is right is often associated with spiritual matters; lacking resolve to live by convictions is a kind of flow I simply can’t condone.

Yet as I grow older I seem to notice the erosion of things that predate me. I’ve seen people grow old, weak, lifeless. I’ve seen families grow distant. I’ve seen certain societal evolutions that seem an awful lot like erosion to me, though saying so makes me feel like the old people in my youth. I’ve seen people do things I never imagined they would all because, seemingly, they’ve just accepted the flow and gone with it.

It makes me wonder what I will erode into. Mountains can erode into hills, rivers into canyons. Many many other things erode into something less than history—forgotten completely, with the faintest essence of having existed it’s best hope. What will I flow with, and how will it shape me? What features will gain prominence as my time wears on?