There is a sense of timelessness when we look at the rivers, trees and mountains, and yet they are in a constant state of change. The old tree was once vibrant and green, the mountains higher, the river was once not so wide. But yet the essence remains, blending into time, into our present.
Lately, I hear people talking about being "reborn", through a religious experience, or a moment of self-realization. Of becoming something new. But I can't help but feel we will always carry our past with us in some form. As with the natural world around us, the essence of what has been remains, though time has indeed transformed it. Everything evolves based on experiences, whether we have bent or broke, fought or retreated, embraced the sun or hid in the shadows. Our lives reflect choices, for worse or for better.
Like the old tree by the river, we become better able to nurture others, like the river, wider, our minds more open, and like the mountains, we have worn and softened.
So we must honor the hardships and experiences that came before. We would not have grown as uniquely without them.