Monday, September 19, 2011

Rivers of Life

Yesterday I spoke about rivers during worship as part of Creation Time, a relatively new season in the church year focussed on care for the world God created and is creating still. There are plenty of rivers in the bible despite the scarcity of water in the Middle East.

When I came home from church I returned to a biography of Holmes Rolston the godfather of environmental ethicists. Professor Rolston was one of the presenters at the conference I attended in Colorado, a spry, accessible man approaching eighty years of age.

I picked up at the place where Rolston is working to protect a river, the Cache la Poudre River in Northern Colorado. The plan was to dam the river, flooding the canyon but the coalition fighting the dam was successful.

It turns out that the last day we were in Colorado we drove up the Poudre Canyon to hike at Greyrocks. On the way north we passed whitewater rafters and fly fishers enjoying the river. To pick up the Greyrocks trail we used a foot bridge across the Poudre and we stopped to take photos of its rushing waters. Even though the name Cache La Poudre is French the locals pronounce it Poo-der.

It's important for Christians to be aware of the rivers and streams around them and to treat them with care, not just as a commodity. When rivers are clean and free-flowing they are a source of life for many creatures.

Are there rivers, streams, "cricks" which have been important in your lives? Have you ever been involved in a waterway clean-up or any effort to protect or rehabilitate one?


Nancy said...

Our backyard was on the rive when I was growing up. I spent many an afternoon on the dock just listening to the water. We swam, skated, snowmachined, fished, learn to drive a boat and much more on that river. As a child I didn't realize how lucky I was. Now that I don't have that easy an access, I miss just being able to walk down to the water when I want, it's more of an effort now.

Our highschool was also on that river and so our grade 10 biology class was all about the water, what was living in there, what the ph was etc. Life lessons that were all learned, on the water.

Our students are taking part in the Durham Ground Water Festival,over the next couple of weeks. It is a program put on by CLOCA. Check out their website,

Lynnof60 said...

The Ganaraska River was MY river while growing up and is my river once again now that I'm all growed up!! I was walking by it early this morning and saw many, many Tim Horton coffe cups and much garbage left by fishermen (in the interest of inclusive language what would be appropriate? - those who fish?). My thoughts were "what are they thinking? Do they fish just for the sport of catching a fish or do they enjoy the fact that they are outside, beside a beautiful river doing something they like? It is rude and inconsiderate but you all know that. I wish they would take the care of the land the way they take care of their fishing equipment. There. I feel better.

johnny said...

It's my goal to have a waterfront property at some point in my life. I find it very serene.

I, too, am very disturbed by the slobs out there who throw garbage in our lakes, rivers and creeks. How incredibly lazy and ignorant.

One of my favourite things to do is go kayaking at my sister's cottage, and spot loons, turtles and other wildlife.

One day, she was lying on a float sunbathing and suddenly a water snake slithered over her. Funniest day in my life....she screamed for at least 10 seconds. It didn't seem to help when I remarked that such marine life was the sign of a healthy body of water.

Nancy said...

Aahhh, Jonny. We are lucky enough to visit my sister-in-law's cottage where there are water snakes. I have so far been able to just get on with it, but after that story, I'm not so sure.....thanks, good grief! :)