It's natural to want life to be easy. But sometimes life is hard.
Life can be like a millpond. One minute your life is peaceful and quiet, and the next minute you’re plunging over the edge of a learning curve into depths that make you doubt you’ll ever breathe again.
A millpond is a stream that’s been dammed. The water in the millpond is perfectly still and highly reflective. It’s an idyllic sight, a reminder of sweet, lazy summer afternoons when one wove dreams out of dandelions and spied winged whales in drifting clouds.
But this is just half the story.
At the edge of the millpond are gates. These are raised to allow the dammed water to rush over the mill wheel and turn it, generating power. At this point the glassy millpond water becomes a tumbling mass of froth and force that doesn’t stop moving until it reaches the stream below the mill, its work done.
We tend to think we prefer it when things go smoothly, when life is reminiscent of a millpond. But our most vivid memories are of times when things went “wrong”, when events didn’t turn out like we expected.
Do you remember the awards night when your name wasn’t mentioned? Or when you weren’t picked for the team or asked to the dance? Can you recall moments of pain, sickness, low spirits or raised rents? Are you experiencing loneliness, disappointment, divorce, redundancy or imminent death?
These are times that challenge, churn and change us. We learn what we're capable of when the gates of life events are suddenly opened and we tumble through, like water over a mill wheel.
It’s when the millpond gates are opened and the water rushes down almost in a panic to meet the mill wheel that the water learns of its inherent power, and does the most good.
So when life gets difficult, don’t struggle to get back to the millpond. Be like water. Go with the flow and grow through the mill wheel of life. Soon you'll be in calmer waters again.
What should you do when life is hard?
Tumble over the edge of life and find the power you have to turn the wheel, to change yourself and the world.
With love, Marlane