THE GREATEST RIVERS WERE ONCE TRICKLES
The greatest rivers with famous names – the Nile and the Ganges, the Yangtze and he Mississippi, the Amazon and the great grey-green Limpopo all set about with fever trees-must have been no more than trickles and flickering streams before they grew into mighty rivers (Aiden Chambers)
We must begin thinking like a river if we are to leave a legacy of beauty and life for future generations.” ― (David Brower)
From the great rivers we learn that each small rain drop has its value – we must not despise the tiny pearl drops of change that fall unnoticed and unremarked for they are feeding into streams.
We also learn that those small rivers who have names will lose their identity into the bigger raging river. If they choose to keep their identity and flow alone, they will dry up in the dusty earth, but if they flow into the raging river then they become part of a movement that can break down mountains. To do so they will lose their identity…
“Mountains & rivers know the secret. Pay no attention to boundaries.”-― (Brian Andreas ) People of different faiths, people who profess no faith, people who are anti-faith , we must flow together into the mighty river of change.
“All kinds of fruit trees will grow on both sides of the river. Their leaves will not dry up, and they will never stop giving fruit. They will give fruit every month because their water flows from the holy place. Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.” (Ezekiel 47;12)
This river of environmental eco-justice born both of anger and love, hope and despair, is bringing fruits of community, of joy and of unity that were more than we hoped for.
The movement has started we must not lose momentum now “Said the river: imagine everything you can imagine, then keep on going.”― (Mary Oliver)
Wendell Berry said this “The river is of the earth and it is free. It is rigorously embanked and bound, and yet it is free. To hell with restraint, it says, I have got to be going. It will grind out its dams. It will go over or around them. They will become pieces”
As adults we have been too slow in tacking the Climate Crisis – decades have passed and the crisis is growing more severe. Now young people are rising up and saying ‘we have got to be going’, will their river pass us by or will we join the flow?
“There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, Least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt. The time for the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! ………, All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” (Hopi Nation)
Rev Rachel Mash – reflections from Church in Creation on the Upper Liesbeek River June 2019
Photograph: Milan Radisic “Salty Marsh”