se·cret /ˈsēkrit/Something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others.
Only problem is, even what is meant to be invisible rarely stays that way.
I took my kids to the Fox River Sanctuary one day to look for bugs, flora and fauna, and other natural oddities. Of course, since the sanctuary runs along the Fox River, it didn't take long before they had their shoes, pants, and shirts off and were swimming in their drawers like country kids. Once they got over worrying that they were breaking rules of some sort they had tons of fun. While keeping a close eye on them, I (fully clothed, just for the record) started studying the river.
At times it ran peaceful with only the bubbles from a river monster surely lurking along the bottom to change the surface, which is why I was fully clothed. Someone would need to call for help.
In other spots, rocks changed the course and flow of the water. What was calm swirled in eddies, what was tranquil redirected to a new course.
Secrets do that, too.
We don't know what we've bumped up against, but something has definitely changed on the surface.
A calm stretch of friendship suddenly veers to the left when a particular topic arises. Amiable chit-chat seems to have stakes of right and wrong, a point being defended. The recent Supreme Court decisions bring up rocks for some, especially if people they care about are affected by these decisions.
Secret carriers become masters of deflection, steering life away from the rock. Just a gradual change in direction, an unwillingness to engage completely. An old skeleton in the family closet, that uncle who never married or the aunt who got her kids taken away...we just don't bring that up.
Sometimes those rocks are relationship killers, leading to rapids that, unless you realize what pass you are navigating, you have no hope in surviving. Secret addictions and traumas, things judged to shameful to discuss, will impede even the most savvy of travelers.
But in all these, the one thing that hasn't actually changed is the water. It continues to flow. It continues to give life. And it continues to wear down the rocks.
My son asked me how old I thought the water was and I was struck by the profound nature of his simple question. As far as I know, only God can create water, so it must be original to creation.
And ultimately, He is the only One who can wear down our rocks.