The River of Life




It is not the river of life which carries us

Upon undulating waters

Above time-worn stones.


We do not drift upon it,

Choosing when to ride the current--

or to fight it,

Nor can we set ashore on sandy banks to explore,

Perchance to retrace our steps,

and float on again.

Or edge along on land,

past the threatening rapids.


We do not ride upon the river of life:

We are its waters.


Flowing, forced to move forward,

Downward from time past,

to a future sea we know not.

Only this we are given, to choose the path we will cut.


It would be easier to meander through the shallow and silt-covererd beds,

Basking in comforting warmth,

the sun's light gripped within.

Yet it muddies us, somehow.

We are too easily fouled,

Where the waters flow so quiet.


Not so when sharp and gray rocks lay before us

in narrowed channels shadowed by towering cliffs.

Though our waters seem cold and and in turmoil,

There is a clarity somehow.


Shaken from a sleepy flow,

we come alive,

Aware of our hidden power.


We carry these waters given us

as a gift from the Source above,

Our substance, our life.

And yet…


It is a gift to be given,

So that others may drink,

That flowers will bloom,

And trees bear fruit upon our banks.

Or that our water's power

Will cut chasms through  the mountains

And open a way to the sea.



Flowing through us

Will surround us.

And so we flow on.


We do not ride upon the river of life:

We are its waters.