There is a pagan chant, a filk of the hymn "Waters of Babylon" that is based on Psalm 137:1, that has been running thru' my mind this week.
"By the waters, by the waters, by the waters of Avalon,
We lay down and wept, and wept, for this aeon.
We remember, we remember, we remember Avalon"
Rivers. Weeping. Remembering.
I grew up in the Chicago area. Hymns - either Judeo-Christian-Islamic or Pagan - that referred to 'going up on the mountain' were rather at odds with the land we lived on. And, trust me, you're going to lose a battle with the genius loci every time.
But water and rivers WERE a feature of our land, flat as it is. My first years were spent living a half block west of Lake Michigan, which I ran to at every opportunity. The western most border of my 'home area' was the north branch of the Chicago river.
Other local rivers joined my internal map as the years went on. The Des Plaines river - as far west as I tended to bike, and on the shores of which I got married. The Fox River, where my family had owned a tiny bit of land and a barn, and where they spent as much of the un-air-conditioned summers as they could. Stories were told of that house and land, of my uncles walking the plowed fields near the river searching for arrow heads. Later I occasionally swam in it. Still later, my husband and I lived along it, and had our child while living there.
Once in Maryland, while driving over bridges over waterways was pretty standard, we lived along the Patuxent River.
Now, I live in the Rocky Marsh watershed, on the Potomac river, close to the confluence of the relaxed and relatively clear Potomac river and the fast and muddy Shenandoah river.
Living water has always been my go-to for grounding and peace. Even when visiting Sedona, Arizona - I wasn't hiking to the vortices. I was staying north of the city along the Oak Creek River, swimming in it, listening to its voice as I slept. Days were hiking the West Fork trail, along the creek. I could sit on the bank of the creek for hours, watching it, listening to it.
In this Tower Time, I'm called back to the rivers. I'm going to sit by the confluence of the rivers and listen for the wisdom. Let the river wash away the feelings of sorrow and helplessness. Let the living waters, as old as the hills, shapers of the land, fill me with their endurance, persistence, and power.
And then I'll return. And help kick ass, as best I can.
This post inspired by many folks and waters, but mostly by Eridanus Darryl Kummerow's post about how he's going to be looking for peace in his home - which happens to be near the very same Fox River that runs thru' my life.