Sometimes everything is easy and falls neatly into place. When that happens, it can be tempting to see it as proof that we are blessed, and moving in the direction some higher, hopefully benevolent force approves of. Perhaps we feel in tune with the universe, or that reality is bending over backwards to accommodate us. Either way, it can be intoxicating.
Nature is populated by things that create tides, and things that go along with them. The moon makes the sea tides, opening up coastal feeding opportunities, and then the predators come to feed on that which feeds and they are all part of the same tide. It makes good sense to use something heading your way, to go with a flow that suits your purpose.
Swans migrating thousands of miles ride the winds to ease and speed the journey. They could ride any wind, letting the air currents take them anywhere. To do so, would be to get lost, and probably to starve and die. Instead, they wait for the right winds, for the easterlies that will take them to winter feeding sites and safe havens. They are selective about the tide that will bear them.
The very ease of going with the flow can distract us from asking where the flow is going. We can be swept along, noting how easy it is to go this way, how comfortable and how much it is reinforced by all that is around us. We do not ask whose flow it is, whose intention pulls the tide and where it will eventually come to. It is by persuading people to take the easy way and go with the flow that mad tyrants build their tsunamis of war and cruelty. Everyone becomes so caught up in the tide that all else is swamped.
We need to be like swans, choosing the winds that will best carry us to the places we want to go. There are always many tides and currents, many opportunities to soar on thermals or glide downstream, but we have to pick the ones going the way we intended to go, or we are simply lost in the flow of some other intention, and this is not always the best idea. Not all roads lead downhill. Not all seas are smooth, and the small wave that seemed to be moving you on nicely can, on reaching land, become a vast and destructive wall. It helps to think about where our wave is going, and whether we will still be proud to ride it when it manifests its latent potential.
There is no go with the flow option that leads to the top of the mountain. There are some necessary and powerful choices that can never lead to an easy paddle in a friendly stream. It depends on where you want to go, because streams are only ever heading towards large bodies of water, and mountains are only ever up (unless you want underwater mountains, but that’s another landscape of fish). If you want to conquer mountains, there’s little point looking for streams of water to ride in.