The boulder sits in the middle of a stream behind a friend's house in Massachusetts. She can see it from her kitchen. One morning, when I was visiting, I got up before anyone else was stirring, and just sat with my tea and considered the rock.

The soft firmness of its loaf-like edges. The cracks where water had frozen, thawed, and pried apart the impossible density. The delicate tracery of lichen clinging to the sides. The watermarks recording the river's highs.

I sat drinking my morning tea, staring at the boulder. Eventually I felt what it must be like to be so stolid, so settled, so unmoving in appearance (knowing that, in truth, the rock is frittering away, particle by tiny particle, under the relentless attentions of water and wind). I admired the movement of the water, so graceful, elegant, nimble, simply parting its way around the obstacle, the rock and moving on. Two completely opposite states, rock and water. And yet together....they create a third, ineffable, yet highly desirable, condition. What is it?

Fluid solidity. That's what we need to keep moving through a world full of obstacles, and to stay grounded when things get in our way.

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