A River Flows Through Our Lives

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We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” 

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

My father often spoke of Henry David Thoreau and his book Walden; or Life in the Woods. As we celebrate Easter today and Earth Day tomorrow, I am reminded that nature conspires to bestow a peaceful grace upon humanity and all who share our world

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy.

Psalm 96:11-12

I find great joy in the memories of conversations with my father. I share his profound belief in our need to be fully engaged within nature. Like Thoreau, he recognized that heaven was “under our feet as well as over our heads”

A River Flows Through Our Lives from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

47 thoughts on “A River Flows Through Our Lives

  1. This peaceful respite was just what I needed before going to bed, although it reminds me that I should have spent some time outside this weekend instead of being glued to my computer the entire time. Ah, well, there’s always next weekend.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I am glad that you joined me this weekend, virtually. I enjoy our conversations. Welcome to a new week. What better way to begin than with Earth Day!!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I spent time in nature early today, and this post and video have closed it beautifully. You have been blessed by a good father and Father. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Isn’t it interesting how nature allows us to pause, to reflect and gain a wider perspective. I am delighted that you joined me on my walk. Hugs coming your way.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I think Walden must be a candidate for one of those ‘if you could only have one book, which would it be….’ conversations. Happy Easter and Happy Earth Day, dear friend. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad that we are celebrating another Easter and Earth Day together. I think that next year, we will be celebrating our 10th year of friendship. Thank you for adding joy to my day.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This made my day and my evening, since I have watched several times. I enjoyed watching the river and I even heard its sounds as it ran passed on its way. Yes, your father was encouragement in many avenues in your life, he gave you a great heritage. He loved nature and piloted his plane into places in nature that he normally would not have gone. I am glad that he told you to write. This post is just one of your writings that he would have enjoyed.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I am delighted that you enjoyed the video. There is a wonderful walk in North Vancouver that winds around a river. It is in the centre of a busy area, and yet following this meandering path allows us to embrace the knowledge that we belong to this earth. I remember the extraordinary experience of flying with Dad into the wilderness. Unforgettable!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Rebecca, after spending two weeks in the midst of just such wildness your post, quotes and evocative pictures touch me deeply. The days were all heavenly, walking daily amongst such beauty and peace of the forest … we are all struggling to adjust to ‘normal’ life. Just what I needed to read today, Rebecca and a confirmation that these emotions are grounded. How wonderful to have such deep and meaningful conversations with your father – rewarding and enriching for you both. hugs xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Two weeks! What a wonderful experience. I can imagine that it will take a couple of days to readjust to a different temple. I am writing this from a coffee shop – just now a friend stopped by and told me that he and his family had spent the Easter weekend in the garden. He used the word meditation in connection to digging into the spring earth. I like John Muir’s take on this thought: “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.” Yes, the memories of conversations with my father continue to sustain me on my journey. It is a reminder that we must make profound and encouraging memories for those who follow after us. That is why your writing is powerful – you tell the story of our generation. Hugs coming your way.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh Rebecca , what a beautiful post. You know how I feel about the importance of truly connecting with Nature. The Thoreau quote is just magnificent. Hope you had a glorious Easter, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am so glad that you stopped by and joined me on my nature walk!!! Your understanding of our relationship with nature inspires us all. I love the symbolism that is found in rivers. One of my favourite poems is by Langston Hughes – every month or so, I take it out and read it aloud to myself. Sending hugs your way.

      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.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hadn’t read this poem of Hughes’s. Thank you for introducing us to it. Coincidentally, I’m teaching his personal narrative “Salvation” in my Writing Process course this term. Have you read it?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Found a Kindle edition: Hughes’s Salvation by Wallace Best. Thanks for the introduction. The other Hughes’s poems that bring tears is “Mother to Son”

        “Well, son, I’ll tell you:
        Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
        It’s had tacks in it,
        And splinters,
        And boards torn up,
        And places with no carpet on the floor—
        Bare.
        But all the time
        I’se been a-climbin’ on,
        And reachin’ landin’s,
        And turnin’ corners,
        And sometimes goin’ in the dark
        Where there ain’t been no light.
        So boy, don’t you turn back.
        Don’t you set down on the steps
        ’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
        Don’t you fall now—
        For I’se still goin’, honey,
        I’se still climbin’,
        And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”

        Liked by 1 person

    • Vancouver’s spring was later than usual this year – we even had a couple of snowfall, which is always exciting. Everyone heads outside with their cameras to capture the winter scene before it melts. I love the symbolism of rivers – living, breathing and always flowing. Thank you so much for stopping by and for you comments – very much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

    • How very very well said – Nature is always a good idea. I am so glad that you joined me on my walk. I am looking more into the idea of meditation, especially in responding to our complex ever-evolving environment. Nature, solitude, silence – how do we commit to these “healing” activities when we have so many competing forces in our lives. I believe that literature and poetry are an essential element of this journey. Always enjoy our conversations!!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh yes, so do I.
        I find nature very meditative, and it’s what I appreciate most about Finland, plenty of nature. I feel refreshed and inspired after a walk in the forest. I’m interested in your idea of poetry and literature in this journey. Certain poems and literary passages certainly evoke a strong sense of nature’s power.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Here’s a book that I have on my list “to read”: “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Rachel Carson quote reminds me of why I need to live where there are four seasons. Each time the season changes, it’s like I’m getting a second chance at life, a new beginning.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry for my late response. I have been travelling and am now in St. John’s Newfoundland where the ocean is very cold. I am delighted that you stopped by and am grateful for your heartwarming comments. We live in a complex ever-evolving world where complexity and ambiguity are our constant companions. And yet, there is a river that flows through our lives that gives the gift of resilience. That give courage and a determination to continue.

      Liked by 1 person

      • How was the traveling? I couldn’t agree more with your wise words. Resilience is a gift, we should be grateful to be able to continue our journeys in the best way possible, taking in all the learnings life teaches us.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. …. and sometimes I think our lives are like a river…flowing to an eventual lake or ocean where we are at one will all else that has come before.

    Liked by 2 people

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