“I do not know much about gods,” T. S. Eliot wrote, who grew up along the Mississippi in St. Louis, “but I think that the river is a strong brown god.”
“Under various names,” wrote Czeslaw Milosz, who grew up in Lithuania along the Neman, “I have praised only you, rivers. You are milk and honey and love and death and dance.” I take this to be the first stirrings, even as our civilization did its damming and polluting, of the recognition of what we have lost and need to recover. When human populations were small enough, the cleansing flow of rivers and their fierce floods could create the illusion that our acts did not have consequences that they vanished downstream. Now that is no longer true, and we are being compelled to reconsider the work of our hands. And, of course, we are too dependent on our own geographical origins to have lost our connection with them entirely.
At times, life is hard, as hard as crucible steel. It has its bleak and painful moments. Like the ever flowing water of a river, life has its moments of drought and its moments of flood. Like the ever-changing cycle of the seasons, life has the soothing warmth of the summers and the piercing chill of its winters. But through it all, God walks with us. Never forget that God is able to lift you from the fatigue of despair to the buoyancy of hope, and transform dark and desolate valleys into sunlit paths of inner peace.
~ Dr Martin Luther King, Jr
Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.
~ Jorge Luis Borges
The trees reflected in the river — they are unconscious of a spiritual world so near to them. So are we.
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
You know a dream is like a river, ever changing as it flows. And a dreamer’s just a vessel that must follow where it goes. Trying to learn from what’s behind you and never knowing what’s in store makes each day a constant battle just to stay between the shores. And I will sail my vessel ’til the river runs dry. Like a bird upon the wind, these waters are my sky. I’ll never reach my destination if I never try, So I will sail my vessel ’til the river runs dry. Too many times we stand aside and let the water slip away. To what we put off ’til tomorrow has now become today. So don’t you sit upon the shore and say you’re satisfied. Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tides.
~ Garth Brooks
What is a Reaction – a boat which is going against the current but which does not prevent the river from flowing on.
~ Victor Hugo