“Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.”
In Chinese mythology, dragons are linked with water, rain, lakes and rivers. Wise, beautiful, elegant and gracious, they are the guardians of water, beloved and worshipped. Bold and decisive, they embody energy, optimism, intelligence and perseverance.
China’s four great rivers were named after Dragons who risked the wrath of the Jade Emperor, the ruler of Heaven, to bring rain to the people. Their punishment was to be imprisoned within four mountains forever. Even so, determined to bring water to humanity, they turned themselves into four rivers.
In the North, the Black Dragon, Heilongjiang, is the world’s 10th longest river, marking the border between the Russian Far East and North-Eastern China. The Yellow Dragon is connected to the Huanghe or Yellow River in central China, the 6th longest river in the world. Considered the cradle of Chinese civilization, the Yellow River basin was the most prosperous region in early Chinese history. The Long Dragon refers to the Changjiang or Yangtze farther south. Third in terms of length, the Yangtze travels 6,418 kilometres from the glaciers on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in Qinghai to the East China Sea at Shanghai. Its river basin is home to one-third of the People’s Republic of China’s population. The Pearl Dragon is linked with the Pearl or Zhujiang River, an extensive river system in southern China. It is named for all of the pearl coloured shells that lie in the bed of the river in the segment that flows through the city of Guangzhou.
In legends and mythologies, humanity recognized that the earth was a source of life, of hope, of renewal and of continuing. Perhaps, it is time that we remembered these traditions…
“Time Flows away like the water in the river.”