Piece by Piece

 Photo by Michael De La Madrid

Photo by Michael De La Madrid

I start at a river.
Rapid. Torturous. Unforgiving. Never ending.
I’m struggling.
I’m drowning.  
Clinging on to anything that can support me.  
Anything that can hold me.  
Anything that can stop my free fall to the edge.

Twigs break.
Trees fall.
The roots too shallow.  The branches too weak.
And then comes a rock.
I grab it. Hold it.  Desperately cling to it for dear life.
And the river dies down.

I catch my breath and look where I am.  How different of a place it is. 
How strange I have become in the battle with the tides.  

I prepare myself.
Piece by piece I build a wall.
Bit by bit, I put up a defence, never knowing when the river will flood again.
Stone by stone.
Brick by brick.

It builds. It grows.  
For a moment, the river is calm. 
The wall grows stronger.
The water flows slower.  
The sun shines brighter.  
And for that moment in time, I think it’s over.  I stop at last to take it all in.

I’m proud of my wall. The hard work I put in.
The tireless effort to keep it together.
It can withstand the water.  
For once, I am strong.

But in that moment, when I think all is well, the river floods.  
The walls break.  The stones give in.
Piece by piece, it falls apart. 
Bit by bit, it comes crashing down.
And it all begins again.
The struggling.
The drowning. 

Rapid. Torturous. Unforgiving. Never ending. 

Piece by piece, I fall apart.  
Bit by bit, I move along, hoping to catch the next rock.  
Hoping that maybe next time, I will be strong enough.