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As water flows down a river, it changes everything in its path. Sometimes it smooths down rocks and sometimes it transports material from one place to the next. When there is a large volume of water it pounds through an area, gouging, beating, ripping, and tearing. Nothing is the same after that. For many people, 2020 has felt like a raging river. Fires, hurricanes, tropical storms, Covid-19, racial injustice, and political overflow have contributed to this feeling. Life has been changed. Masks, toilet paper shortages, social distancing, social bubbles, remote graduations, remote learning, and remote working (if the job didn’t disappear). Requests for food assistance are at an all time high for many communities. How have we adapted?

When you walk along a stream or river, the rocks that have been affected the most by water are rounded. The river water has rounded the rock’s sharp edges, smoothing the rock out. As a society, I think we are still holding on to our sharp edges but as individuals are we rounding out? What would happen if we let go of our out-dated thoughts of inadequacy, low self-worth, and prejudice? Would we be more well-rounded?

There will be some people who will feel like the flood never ends. It is very difficult to tread water for a long time and not get swept downstream. There are some who will be untouched by the flood and miss out on the transformation. There are others who have been through the flood and, now that the waters are receding, feel as if there is nothing left of themselves. To the first group, can we spare a boat and some rope to haul them in and to feel solid ground beneath their feet again? To the second group, change can be difficult and even painful, but if we never change we quickly get left behind and become out-dated. To the final group, look at the river where the flow is calm and gentle. Do you see all of those little stones? You may feel like there is nothing left, but you have been transformed to your core self. You are still there.

This year I have had the pleasure of sharing many different healing modalities with you all. The healers who are ready to assist are varied and numerous. They can be your life boat and gentle water. It may take more than one modality to assist you as your edges get rounded, but that’s okay. You are transforming. In the end, you will be that beautiful polished rock that draws people towards you.

May you keep your head above water, may you glisten and sparkle, and may the water flow with and around you. Blessings be.


Garden Gate Herbals/Barbara Aspland-Wolf, Herbalist, Reiki Master/Teacher, Flower Essence Practition

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