AS humans we instinctively turn away from what we find difficult, or are impatient for difficult moments to pass:
In a dream, I was working hard to finish a bridge to cross some river whose current was strong. Just as I finished the arc of the bridge, an elephant appeared in the water. It was stepping down the middle of the stream. When it was squarely beneath my unfinished bridge, it stopped to douse itself with water…All at once, the sheen of water on its back made me question why I was building a bridge in the first place. It made me question if what I was crossing really needed to be entered. It made me wonder: If I were to enter the stream rather than cross it, would I have a different sense of where I was going?
In the days since the dream, the image of the elephant under the unfinished bridge has made me consider obstacles differently. Now when I stumble before things I don’t understand, I try to remember the elephant dousing itself in the middle of what I thought I had to cross and ask myself: Is the thing in the way something I need to cross or enter? If it’s a difficulty involving love or fear, where will I be led by crossing it? Where will I be led by entering it? At each turn, I find myself needing to know: What must I face and what must I bridge?