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Like A River

Last night I went paddling and was reminded yet again why I love rivers so much. Wild or quiet, no river is ever the same from day to day, season to season.

Water transforms the world. To enter the water is to enter another universe. The river takes the solid world we walk around in every day and shape-shifts it into another reality, a fluid reality of change and flow.

Flowing water is time itself unfolding. There is no other place where it’s possible to experience so vividly how time moves into the future as on a river. It is not the inexorable march of seconds, each the same as the next, or the hands of a watch ticking away. On a river, time moves because the world flows, now accelerating and then slowing, eddying and swirling to push and tumble ahead, never the same but always downward and onward.

The river is a constant reminder that we are capable of continual evolution, that every shape is only temporary, that time is always moving, that the world is constantly creating itself anew.

Science suggests that all elements heavier than hydrogen and helium have been through the life of at least one star. The oxygen and iron in our blood, the carbon that is the backbone of our metabolism and life tissue, the potassium and sodium that allow us thought and action, they all have an ancient pedigree billions of years old, born of stellar explosions, of planets dying and being reborn, of life beginning and evolving.

Everything within us has gone through this most epic journey. And through it all, a true miracle, that somehow we are given self-awareness. Over time, everything with us flows like water. Our very being is as transient as the surface of a river.

The river speaks all this and much more. It speaks of time and the currents of the world, of shaping canyons and cutting through continents. Of this instant and eternity. “We are made of dust, and the light of a star.”

From an article by Doug Ammons.

Used with permission from Richard Thompson of From Regenesis Aug. 2017 newsletter.