Thursday, March 10, 2011

Some wise words about rivers

I choose to listen to the river for a while, thinking river thoughts, before joining the night and the stars. — (Edward Abbey)

And I count myself more fortunate with each passing season to have recourse to these quiet, tree-strewn, untrimmed acres by the water. I would think it a sad commentary on the quality of American life if, with our pecuniary and natural abundance, we could not secure for our generation and those to come the existence of . . . a substantial remnant of a once great endowment of wild and scenic rivers. — (William Anderson, Congressman from Tennessee, Arguing for passage of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (1968))

Sit by a river. Find peace and meaning in the rhythm of the lifeblood of the Earth. — (Anonymous)

Boundaries don't protect rivers, people do. — (Brad Arrowsmith, Landowner along the Niobrara National Scenic River, Nebraska)

The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare to let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure. — (Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah)

Wild rivers are earth's renegades, defying gravity, dancing to their own tunes, resisting the authority of humans, always chipping away, and eventually always winning. — (Richard Bangs, River Gods)

When protected, rivers serve as visible symbols of the care we take as temporary inhabitants and full-time stewards of a living, profoundly beautiful heritage of nature. — (John Echeverria, Pope Barrow, Richard Roos Collins, Rivers at Risk: The Concerned Citizen's Guide to Hydropower)

Choosing to save a river is more often an act of passion than of careful calculation. You make the choice because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way, because you are unwilling to accept its loss. — (David Bolling, How to Save a River: Handbook for Citizen Action)

Any river is really the summation of the whole valley. To think of it as nothing but water is to ignore the greater part. — (Hal Borland, This Hill, This Valley)

What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn't have any doubt—it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn't want to go anywhere else. — (Hal Boyle)

There are many ways to salvation, and one of them is to follow a river. — (David Brower, Foreword to Oregon Rivers by Larry Olson and John Daniel)

You don't need it, but will you take some advice from a Californian who's been around for a while? Cherish these rivers. Witness for them. Enjoy their unimprovable purpose as you sense it, and let those rivers that you never visit comfort you with the assurance that they are there, doing wonderfully what they have always done. — (David Brower, Foreword to Oregon Rivers by Larry Olson and John Daniel)

Keep your rivers flowing as they will, and you will continue to know the most important of all freedoms—the boundless scope of the human mind to contemplate wonders, and to begin to understand their meaning. — (David Brower, The Foreword to Oregon Rivers by Larry Olson and John Daniel)

The song of the river ends not at her banks but in the hearts of those who have loved her. — (Buffalo Joe)

The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it. — (Chinese philosopher)

We call upon the waters that rim the earth, horizon to horizon, that flow in our rivers and streams, that fall upon our gardens and fields, and we ask that they teach us and show us the way. — (Chinook Blessing Litany)

In a country where nature has been so lavish and where we have been so spend-thrift of indigenous beauty, to set aside a few rivers in their natural state should be considered an obligation. — (Senator Frank Church from Idaho, Arguing for passage of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (1968))

In spite of the durability of rock-walled canyons and the surging power of cataracting water, the wild river is a fragile thing—the most fragile portion of the wilderness country. — (John Craighead, Biologist and one of the architects of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act)

The river called. The call is the thundering rumble of distant rapids, the intimate roar of white water . . . a primeval summons to primordial values. — (John Craighead, Naturalist Magazine (Autumn 1965))

A river is the coziest of friends. You must love it and live with it before you can know it. — (G.W. Curtis, Lotus Eating: Hudson and Rhine)

We don't tend to ask where a lake comes from. It lies before us, contained and complete, tantalizing in its depth but not its origin. A river is a different kind of mystery, a mystery of distance and becoming, a mystery of source. Touch its fluent body and you touch far places. You touch a story that must end somewhere but cannot stop telling itself, a story that is always just beginning. — (John Daniel, Oregon Rivers)

If you grew up in the country, chances are you have fond memories of lazy days down by a river, creek or pond. — (Darlene Donaldson, "The River" in Country Magazine)

To trace the history of a river or a raindrop . . . is also to trace the history of the soul, the history of the mind descending and arising in the body. In both, we constantly seek and stumble upon divinity, which like feeding the lake, and the spring becoming a waterfall, feeds, spills, falls, and feeds itself all over again. — (Gretel Ehrlich, Islands, The Universe, Home)

I stand by the river and I know that it has been here yesterday and will be here tomorrow and that therefore, since I am part of its pattern today, I also belong to all its yesterdays and will be a part of all its tomorrows. This is a kind of earthly immortality, a kinship with rivers and hills and rocks, with all things and all creatures that have ever lived or ever will live or have their being on the earth. It is my assurance of an orderly continuity in the great design of the universe. — (Virginia Eifert)

If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. — (Loren Eiseley, "Four Quartets," in The Immense Journey)

No comments:

Post a Comment