Sunday, March 06, 2011

we are all a part of this motion

In Loving-Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, Sharon Salzberg quotes a lovely passage by Susan Griffin in Woman and Nature:

We say that you cannot divert the river from the riverbed. We say that everything is moving, and we are part of this motion, that the soil is moving, that the water is moving. We say that the earth draws water to her from the clouds. We say the rainfall parts on each side of the mountain like the parting of our hair, and that the shape of the mountain tells where the water has passed. We say this water washes the soil from the hillsides, that the rivers carry sediment; that rain, when it splashes, carries small particles. That soil itself flows with water and streams underground. We say that water is taken up into the roots of plants, into stems. That it washes down hills into rivers, that these rivers flow to the sea, that from the sea and the sunlight, this water rises to the sky. This water is carried into clouds and comes back as rain, comes back as fog, comes back as dew, as wetness in the air. We say everything comes back. You cannot divert the river from the riverbed. We say every act has its consequences. That this place has been shaped by the river, and the shape of this place tells the river where to go. We say look how the water flows from this place and returns as rainfall. Everything returns, we say, and one thing follows another. There are limits, we say, on what can be done, and everything moves. We are all a part of this motion, we say, and the way of the river is sacred, and this grove of trees is sacred, and we ourselves, we tell you, are sacred.

Susan Griffin made me think about the sacred relationship between the city's waterways and the countless communities around them.


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