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A Tiny Droplet

By Meanderings BLOG
Posted: 11/14/2021
Written by Ed Rinderle, including editorial suggestions by his son, Bert. June 2013

The endless sea ebbs, flows, rolls on and on, from horizon to horizon, from sunrise to sunrise. Sometimes it lies like a vast pane of glass, peaceful and undisturbed. At other times, it twists and writhes, pushing wave after wave upward from deep within. From the crest of each wave, it flings a portion of its watery essence skyward.

A tiny droplet, one of many, soars violently upward. It awakens with a start. The initial shock
soon gives way to a feeling of awe as the little droplet sails on the breeze, climbing ever higher, banking back and forth in a seemingly endless dance.

Soon the little droplet’s joy is tempered with a vague uneasiness. Unaware of what is happening inside, the tiny droplet begins to grow. Gradually it becomes too heavy for the cool, refreshing air to hold it. It begins to fall, slowly and gently, until it nestles onto a little leaf near the top of a tree. Engulfed by a sense of calm and well-being, the little droplet rests.

After a time, the little droplet awakens. It reaches out to taste the world into which it has fallen: the glossy green smoothness of the leaf, other leaves stretching in all directions, majestic trees beyond, the fresh forest smell all around, and overhead the ethereal blue of the sky. The little droplet is overwhelmed, filled to the brim with the goodness pouring in from all sides. It only hopes that somehow it can give in return something of the bounty it is receiving.

Time rolls on. Then one day, the tiny droplet feels itself moving. Fears mount as it slides toward the edge of the leaf. Over the edge it goes, and once again it plunges through the cool air. Fortunately, the fall is brief. The little droplet comes to rest on a larger leaf, and once more it feels that sense of calm and wonder.

The process repeats: sliding toward the edge, a moment of fear, a brief fall, and rest on a new leaf. With each repetition of this cycle, the droplet’s anxiety decreases, and the subsequent rest and sense of well-being intensify.

As the years pass, the cycle seems to slow down, and the little droplet begins to wonder when, or if, it will end. A sense of foreboding creeps in among the leaves of the great tree. Perhaps these leaves, this tree, this forest are not all there is.

Then one day, after another brief plunge through the cool air, the little droplet lands not on a leaf, but on a much harder surface. It begins to slide almost immediately. The fear returns, greater than before, threatening to drown the little droplet. Then a vaguely familiar sound echoes gently through the forest. It is the sound of a distant roar, rising and falling in rhythm. The roar grows, and as it does it seems to call to the tiny droplet: “Come. I bring a more profound rest, a more enduring peace.”

The tiny droplet slides to the very edge of the rocky cliff. It clings indecisively for one last instant to the cliff’s massive security, and then lets go.

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