There is a beautiful river I know in Vermont. Its origin is somewhere on a frozen mountaintop, or perhaps in the space between that summit and the clouds that grace it. From wherever it begins, it meanders its way down the earth with a majestic demeanor. All along its banks, the trees and the animals bow down to it, paying tribute to its wonder. In places, it is as wide as the nearby meadows, while in others it is little more than a stream. If you catch it after a violent spring storm, you'd best keep a safe distance, for it has been known to take prey from time to time. It is playful in the fall, furiously determined in the spring, ominous in the winter, and selfless in the summer. Ever onward it rolls.
Most of the rocks in this river's timeless path are worn smooth and round. They groan only a bit when bare feet shift them. They are under water all the time, serving as the track.
The rocks I'm interested in though, are the larger ones, not quite boulders, that spend most of their time at least partly above the water line parting the rush. These pillars, interruptions in the flow of the river, must be firmly planted to withstand the constant coaxing of the water, and they are sun bleached on top. The trees along the banks cast their shadows on them. Due to their vantage point, these large rocks in the river can silently watch it all, but they never quite join in. They are like old men sitting peacefully on the park bench feeding the birds. Watching, remembering, noting from a close yet separate distance.
The river accepts that even she, in all her majesty, hasn't the might to force these rocks to follow her, so she parts momentarily, flexes, and continues her journey just south of her obstacle.
I don't know why these rocks were calling me to think about them and to write about them, but they were. Rocks in a river. What does that even mean?