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Water is the strongest thing, simply accepting that there are obstacles to flow around, granite cliffs to erode, raging fires to quench, and hurricanes to outlast. Water is nature’s easy example, a model of patient, fluid strength. The epitome of grace.

Hard things don’t last because they refuse to fit. Even diamonds dissolve in the sea (very beautifully I’m told). But water slides elegantly into whatever receptacle you present to it.

And so it is with our lives. It takes wisdom to truly accept what’s happening in your world. It’s difficult to know when to fight for change and when to open up and let things run their course. And the secret is that when you fully accept what is happening in this moment or chapter of your life, you also open the door to the next change, which might just be the one you seek.

Nothing stays unless you refuse it.

Do you remember as a child laying on your back in the grass on a warm summer day, watching puffs of bright white clouds sailing by overhead? Sometimes the clouds looked like animals. Some seemed friendly and others scary. The shapes would change as they chased each other across the sky. Our thoughts are a lot like that. Just knowing that they are temporary and subject to change, like everything else, is a big help.

It’s easy to accept sunny skies and birthday presents, and challenging to accept failures and disappointments. But you can’t have one side of life without the other. If the sky were sunny every day, would anyone ever notice? When you open up to difficult times, sit with your feelings, and search for the lesson in that experience, you tend the soil of your soul so the next flower can bloom.

Lao Tzu wrote:

Water flow  As the soft yield of water cleaves obstinate stone, so to yield with life solves the insoluble. To yield, I have learned, is to come back again. But this unworded lesson, this easy example, is lost upon men.”

Acceptance is difficult too because it starts with the real you inside. It isn’t easy to

 accept your authentic self. Just ask any teenager not on the A list. Being well balanced requires that we acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses, our mountains and fault lines. From self-knowledge, acceptance can grow.  First, acceptance of ourselves and then acceptance of others. Without that acceptance of our own imperfections, we can’t truly accept imperfections in others. This is the heart where love can grow.

Sometimes we think we are apart from or above the natural world, but we are all part of the universal tapestry, connected in this one vast energy field. So after due time to reflect on a natural disaster (inside or out) and what it means, get back out there gracefully.  Lift up a stranger with a smile. Then the next sunny day will come.

Hal Reichardt

Hal Reichardt was born in 1953 in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Glen Cove, on the North Shore of Long Island. Hal graduated from Stony Brook University in 1977 with a BA in English and moved to the west coast. Hal lived in San Francisco from 1977 until 1989, and earned a Certificate in Business Data Processing from the UC Berkeley Extension in 1986. Hal met his wife Shannon at the Rainbow Cattle Company in the Mission District in 1981, got married in 1984 out in the Sunset District, and moved to Portland, Oregon in 1989 to raise two great kids (Conor and Lindsay).Hal worked day jobs as a writer and editor for 35 years, often rising at 5:00 AM to write and stoke the fires on his dreams before going to work. He is now following his dreams full time.Hal writes humorous personal essays, fiction, and poetry. His publishing credits include 20 humorous essays published in The Oregonian and The Portland Tribune and an article published in Pioneer Magazine. You can find Hal’s humor blog at


  1. Cindy Frary
    Cindy Frary
    Monday, April 21st, 2014 at 8:11 pm ·

    thank you for sharing Hal. :)

  2. Kristy Howell
    Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 at 10:21 am ·

    I LOVE this. Not only is it beautiful but SO true.