On a Dirty Rock

by MW Cook

I sit on a dirty rock beside the dirty creek in Toronto. A pile of dark foam gathers to my right, bouncing against my rock, trying to get downstream. The water is brown and smells of something old and dusty. A busy street flows across the creek at my left, honking and rushing. Bits of garbage litter the shore behind me. This is a dirty place. This is a place abused.

And yet, glory dwells here.

The glory is resilient. Despite the unnatural stains that garb it, the rock upon which I sit is solid, older than any nation, prouder than any man. Here it sat before I was born and here it will sit when I have turned to dust. Upon its face I see imprints of the life that flourished before my kind set foot on this land. Glory.

The water flows, made no less graceful for the silt and crud it is forced to carry. It dips and dives, vaults and jumps over stone and boulder. Nothing bars its way. Nothing can mar its ever-shifting skin. It is the great serpent of God; the true Leviathan that is tamed only by the one that made it. Glory.

The rubbish-clad shore behind me pulses with life. The magical mix we ignobly call dirt pushes forth green glory, and transforms the dead into the living. Under every rock the spark of life flourishes. Each towering tree is birthed from this stable, ever-changing womb upon which we walk and from which we draw our own life. Glory.

The glory is resilient. We have tried so long to kill it. We have tried to poison it, strangle it, replace it with our own infantile forgeries made of dead wood and concrete. But the dead cannot replace the living. A water tank cannot outdo the stream. And a concrete bench can never compare to this prehistoric throne of glory upon which I sit, here beside the dirty creek.