Saturday, November 13, 2010
The River Running Through Us
The beauty of this raw land is awesome, but so are the dangers. One should not venture out into it alone or unprepared. In the rain shadow of the mountains to the west, it is barren and dry. Thunderstorms bring dangerous lightening and flash floods. Strong, sudden windstorms whip up thick clouds of dust. Without shelter or shade, the sun burns and dehydrates. With clear skies and high altitude, the air thins and freezes. Poisonous creatures lurk about. Viewed from above, the Canyonlands are an intricate maze. Without a good map, compass, and knowledge of the land, one could easily get hopelessly lost.
The two rivers meander slowly through this area, twisting and turning in giant, lazy loops. Their flat, silty bottom lands are lush with vegetation; wildlife abounds here. Overhangs and steep canyon walls offer shelter and shade, some measure of protection. There is life-giving water.
Our lives might be compared to these Canyonlands: multi layered, twisted, turned, stretched, intruded upon. We may struggle with grief, loneliness, betrayal, addiction, mental and physical illnesses, violence, poverty or disasters. We may feel that we’re been carved up, hollowed out, worn down, and carried away. But beneath the rugged landscape of our lives, flowing silently and steady as a river, the mighty Sculptor is at work - offering sustenance, shelter, protection. Creating beauty.