It struck me that this image in many ways illustrates the times we're in. On one hand it captures what appears to be a peaceful and lovely river on a beautiful day. For those who live nearby, the water level so close to the base of the bridge warns of the stark reality of impending flood. I walked here to be refreshed by the beauty of nature and found the path under water.
Growing up in B.C., in school we were taught about the mighty Fraser River and the man for whom it was named. Yet this River has flowed long before his arrival and is known by many names to peoples who live along her shores. "The river is called “Sto:lo” in Halqemeylem and “Lhtakoh” in the Dakelh language, both meaning “river” in their respective languages. To the Tsilqot’in people, the Fraser is appropriately named “ʔElhdaqox,” meaning Sturgeon River, in reverence of the captivating and prehistoric fish that traverse the waters of the south Fraser. (1) As much as we might claim this flowing water, she is her own being. And yet our lives intertwine.
There are days when the whole world seems like an impending flood. Water is life-giving but floods are destructive. Yet they are also messengers. The deluge of weather events reminds us that we are part of, not set apart from, the natural cycles that sustain all life. The rising waters of political and social divide compel us to look in our own hearts and at our own lives and see where we have added to that flood, even unintentionally. The beauty and the threat compel us to both hold in love and to take clear and decisive action to keep the most vulnerable from being swept away or subsumed.
Both beautiful moments and flood warnings highlight what's at risk and why how I show up matters.
This is the River of Life. Don't look away.
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