I’ve Seen Rivers

Rivers

I’ve seen rivers, and heard the rushing sound of water sweep past me on the journey to the ocean.    Rivers are the bloodstreams of our world for they give us the gift of fresh water, food, energy, transportation.   When calm, they symbolize peace and serenity; when enraged, their destructive power cannot be withstood.  And yet, with climate change, pollution and over extraction, our rivers are in danger of dying.

This week, I want to explore our rivers from the very beginning.  Langston Hughes once said, “I’ve known rivers. ” Perhaps we have all known rivers, but it would be a good idea to see them one more time.

 

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

By Langston Hughes

 

I’ve known rivers:
I’ve
 known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. 

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

 

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.

I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.

I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.

I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

 

I’ve known rivers:Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

 

 

29 thoughts on “I’ve Seen Rivers

  1. Lovely, and in his own voice too. Let’s not forget “the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, and ‘the chicken soupy Nile” ; those lines that instill the rhythms of the river in our hearts from a very young age.

    Like

    • Langston Hughes is one of my favourites. He was one of the earliest innovators of the new literary art form jazz poetry and was the leader of the Harlem Renaissance! So glad you enjoyed his poetry!

      Like

  2. We have a creek on our property and when it rains (not often) I can hear it running from our house. It is a pleasure I relish for the sounds are soothing, calming, and bring hope to the garden that it will have its food. This today reminded me of the moments of joy with our running creek, that lies dormant most days. Thank you.

    Like

    • The idea of rivers came to me because I was listening to the sound of water in a mini waterfalls and it reminded me of standing next to a river when I was a child. There is something soothing, comforting about water. Now that I started this series, I am beginning to realize this is a BIG research project. I am learning as I go along – not certain of the pathway, but it will be interesting, especially when I walk with a kindred spirit!!

      Like

      • I can imagine that it is a huge project. Your post today was fascinating starting and ending with the Jung quotes, especially for me personally. While I was very ill with Lyme disease, I had a repetitive dream about oceans, waterways, and someone told me that this was mystery presenting an invitation to explore the unknown, and made the analogy to Jung’s shadow work. I hadn’t thought of the connection to Jung and water for a long time and boy did my light bulb go off when I saw your post. So interesting. From that earlier time to now, a lot of psychological mysteries and hidden things have surfaced. Alas, I digress but thought you’d find this interesting and again no mistakes… And so, the mystery continues.

        Like

      • The other night my husband and I were walking when we came upon the sound of a water fountain. I immediately felt a calm descend at the subconscious level. It should not have surprised me, given that most of the human body is water. Goosebumps when I read about your repetitive dream. You are exploring the unknown, traveling on the waterways. You just reminded me of a quote by Rabindranath Tagore “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” We are meant to travel in one form or another – perhaps that is why we feel a strong affinity to rivers. Thank you for your wonderful comments! The mystery continues…

        Like

    • Very well said!! Water is the most abundant compound on earth’s surface. It is indeed the “secret of civilization.”

      “The river is everywhere.”
      Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

      Like

  3. I love this. I once attended a conference in New Orleans – before the flood. Magical. And every river has its own character, something to tell, something to give. Yes – a big subject as you say in an earlier comment!🙂

    Like

Comments are closed.