The Mind Is Like A River Of Flowers And Dead Rats

There’s a beautiful river near the cottage where Odette lives. Each afternoon, after lunch, she sits by the river—on a big, flat stone that’s hidden beneath the shade of a tree. The arrangement of pebbles inside the river, the murkiness when it’s raining, the relaxing sounds it constantly produces, the chirping birds, the clean air, the flowers and the dead rats that often pass by, she loves everything.

“When I take my friends here, they seem to like the flowers and dislike the dead rats, but what of it?” Odette often asks herself. When a flower passes, she’s not excited; when a dead rat passes, she’s not bothered.

Years ago, when Odette first met the river, she would be like her friends—excited when there’s a flower, annoyed when there’s a dead rat. Emotions would stir within her: up, down, up, down; happy, unhappy; elated, bothered; excited, fearful; hopeful, annoyed. But as time went on, she slowly realized that those flowers and dead rats have nothing to do with her—the flowers have no intention to please anyone; the dead rats have no intention to annoy anyone. It just passes by; it appears, then it’s gone.

It’s the river being itself.