D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 0
Rumi was referring to God when he wrote this line:
“You bring rivers from the mountain springs,”
but couldn’t the same be said of us? Do we not bring rivers of creative causation to this flowing moment, rivers arriving from countless sources? Our bodies, are they not a river of genetic instructions, helixes, cell types, inherited traits informing how we live and respond moment to moment, informing our most intimate experiences? Are not our thoughts a current, our feelings a river? From what unseen springs do they come? Our very capacity to think and feel is a river of creative causation that made its way to us from our ancestors and the old ones before them, a river moving us now in our every inclination.
And the care we feel for each other, what is that but a current? Was our caring nature passed to us by the caring hands that coaxed us from the womb, or by the care of long generations of mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, doing their best to assure warmth and sustenance for their young ones? How else did this caring nature come to us?
And these words we speak and hear and read, they come to mind so easily, yet the etymology of each one is a rivulet, a brook, a stream that flowed through countless lips, merging with others into the great river of our language that now we speak and hear so casually.
And what of the rivers of learning we’ve received, the guidance, the skills of speaking, the forming of words, the quiet study, the opening of our intelligence, the learning from mistakes we made, and the teachers, mentors, parents, siblings, friends, writers, artists, scientists, philosophers—each one a riverbank of the river they received and passed to us, all of it flowing and present in us now, a vast gift of guidance helping us on our way.
And with us too are the rivers of loneliness and hurt, despair, rivers of dying and the fear of dying, violence and woundedness, rivers of grieving, loss, all of it coursing through the generations and present in us now, creating, and birthing, our compassion.
Oh awesome rivers of time and rapids, slow meandering oxbows, quiet eddies, falls, rivers of causation and creativity flowing to us from the past, yet equally from the present, equally simultaneous, equally across time, connecting everything in at-once-ness, informing our present with all presents, even the future whose becoming will be born of ours, whose river arrives from ours and informs our own even now, one river with all rivers, all at once, at once!
When fear for the world is heavy upon us, or loneliness presses in, or we doubt ourselves and our power and purpose, let us remember the gift of the rivers we bring, the rivers that make us, the vast wild jubilant rivers we bring from the mountain springs.