Go as a River ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Nearly forever this rushing river
has carved its winding route
from California mountains to the sea.
Freely offering her playfully fresh, life-sustaining water
to all living beings; animal, plant and human
who presented themselves before her current.
Up until these modern times
wild salmon swam upstream to spawn,
sustaining many beings which flourished in this ecosystem.
Over-fishing, dams & destruction of habitat
has rubbed out the once vast salmon population.
So-called Aggregate (mining) companies have claimed river rocks,
taking them for free, dredging & altering river’s course.
Even during drought, dam’s releases
are demanded by the vineyards, orchards & others
prospering along the river,
who pay nothing for this water.
Walking through my town or on
San Francisco bay area streets, sidewalks or bridges
I feel the rushing river below my feet
which was crushed into concrete.
In traffic’s roar I hear a drum beat
faintly expressing salmon’s vow
to again return when conditions allow
many, many years from now.
86 Replies to “Rivers Flow Below Our Feet”
Lovely photos, thank you for taking us with you 🍃
thank you for kindly
coming along, Bliss & Bunny Tantrums 🙂
Oh, the beauty of the river and how sad I feel realizing the salmon cannot make their annual trip home because of the looting of the land by greedy industry.
smiles to you, Sunny
for your compassionate understanding
that the foundation below our feet
has come at a high cost!
May we continue cultivating
our reverence for all life 🙂
A melancholy — and sadly accurate –reflection on the grasping, oblivious inclination of our species …
thanks Cate for floating along
this sometimes sad river
towards fate 🙂
What in the world
are we doing to ourselves?
seems we continue going
down the river
forgetting paddles 🙂
though their water is soft
their flow is persistent
in the end
rivers always win
I agree, Tippy Gnu
that running waters
can’t be stopped 🙂
I remember seeing a documentary on this river and the Salmon which were displaced. The horror we do to the earth and our fellow inhabitance of this world, I can’t understand.
thank you for your compassion, JC!
it is curious whether or not
our fate has been cemented
or will change course 🙂
A poignant reminder David of how our progression into a concrete world has been at the expense of Nature.. I hope those Salmon once again swim up river.. Thank you for sharing these lovely photo’s and for the words you weaved in-between them. .. I enjoyed travelling along this River of Life and for taking me along with you..
this river’s story
is the story of many rivers.
thank you Sue
for being in touch
with river of life’s refreshing,
restorative water’s of hope.
Yes here’s to the water’s of hope my friend, I swim within them often. xx
Beautiful post 🙂
Humans should be the most intelligent animal at our earth, but many don’t understand how important it is, that all living beings are allowed with same right here.
thank you for kindly paddling along, Irene!
seems humans have so much potential
& nearly enough intelligence 🙂
You are so right 🙂
The river of mankind needs to finally respect other rivers.
The river thanks you for this. And so do I.
thank you dear Rupali 🙂
I will look at the street differently now. Knowing it was made from the bones of the Earth was one thing. Knowing from whence those bones came is quite another.
smiling to your compassion, Bard!
i thought of you while visiting & cycling down in the east bay & passing a BART station yesterday 🙂
A beautiful flow of information David that we should all be made aware of. I too hope the river returns one day when the conditions change. Sadly, I don’t think we are working towards that. 🚣🏼
i smile to your river of empathy for our current condition, Karen 🙂
So sad what we do without thought for consequences
So sad the rulers of fear and greed
So sad for for our unconscious stumbling ways
So confident we will all wake up one day
So buoyed by your beautiful photographs
thank you for offering
a life preserver’s worth of compassion
for those who are truly in need, Alison 🙂
Yes, the river knows…
Nice shots and thoughts. 🙂
i’m happy to know we
are both paddling the best we can
in life’s current, Maverick 🙂
Thank you for sharing the story of the river, salmon and your photos David.
thank you for wading into the current
so kindly, Val 🙂
Thank you David for reminding us of the compassion we could yet recover.
Wonderful post, love the photographs and words alongside them… happy sunday. All the best to you!, Aquileana 😀
thank you for offering such kindness of your heart, Aquileana! may your day be well, david 🙂
I await the day of the salmon’s return upstream. It will be a glorious one indeed.
I smile seeing you
there in the future
sitting riverside on a rock
watching them jump upstream 🙂
Sad quiet thoughts on how man’s greed and thoughtlessness affects everything around us – I hope the salmons’ vow will become reality at some point! Lovely photos and canoeing on the water looks fun!
thank you for skillfully
paddling along, Annika!
everything changes for a reason
and I’m glad we’re doing our best
to help the boat stay off the rocks 🙂
Mankind can be foolish, cruel and unthinking but nature adapts if we don’t move too fast. Let us hope that the salmon have had time to find new places to spawn.
Amazing. Thank you!
smiling to your kindness, Ann!
may you be well & happy 🙂
How sad what “progress” has done to Mother. Will there be a time ever when man learns how to harmoniously coexist with Her? LOVE the shot of the fish you captured. Stunning shot, David. This entire post once again brought such Peace and nostalgia to the forefront. Thank you. ❤
smiling to your empathetic heart, Amy!
i’m happy you liked it. i decided to use my waterproof pocket camera, rather than my 6d, for that shot. nice how those fish posed 🙂
Good thinking, David!!! Hehehehehe I would have done the same thing! My 6D is like gold to me!! 🙂
I felt myself in this amazing place… so beautiful, words, views, like a heaven. Thank you dear Smile, have a nice day, Love, nia
makes me happy knowing you are kindly
floating along with river of life at the same time as I, nia! wishing you and your animal friends a happy, peaceful day 🙂
“Progress,” my father used to say under his breath, mad. He knew even back in the 50s as concrete covered more of our blessed planet. Water is precious and people take it for granted. I long for how things were before we came. It is despicable what we do to our precious Mother’s blood.
I feel such heaviness in my heart for Her waters. Thank you David.
Peace and natural flow of waters
thank you for sharing your deep, inherited love & sorrow for humankind’s failure to recognize their essential connection to everything natural, Mary. may you feel communion with new expressions of nature that sparkle in today’s sunlight 🙂
Loved your closing, David, and the idea that the salmon will return when conditions allow. That they are waiting even now, at the ready… There is a great deal of hope in this knowledge. The possibility of working together to create a world of peace and connection.
makes me smile feeling our
floating in chilly currents together
has its place , however
big or small,
in the glorious
continuation of nature, Michael 🙂
But you Buddhists must learnt to transcend the aggregates! 😉
i’m honored to keep
banging my head
against your kind,
hard offering, Hariod 🙂
Enjoyed the pics n post both
thank you for your kindness, girlandworld 🙂
That last scene/image looks so idyllic.
thank you for accepting it so kindly
the way it seemed to express
itself to me, too, Vicki 🙂
hello smilecalm its dennis the vizsla dog hay i wish peepul wood leev enuf water for the salmon they wer heer first!!! that kayak trip luks verry relaksing eksept for the rappids part wot luks rather uhhh rappid i mite git owt and wawk thru that stretch!!! ok bye
so nice 4 U 2
dog paddle by here
to njoy the streme
& make it more
plaeful 4 da fishez, dennis 🙂
Beautiful and touching ❤️
Ode to the calmly rushing river.
The juxtaposition of fresh river here with the traffic and concrete really highlights the salmon’s home vow, and when will we see?
smiling to your heart’s understanding, Ka! we can close our eyes & see it now
as it will be long after
we’re gone 🙂
When people destroy most life forms on earth, the nuclear power sites and their holding tanks along with nuclear dump sites, will explode into multiple atomic bombs because it takes continuous cooling of the radioactive water to stop the sites from exploded even now.
Along with that, all the dams will break, because most people are not aware of th fact that, dams need continuous repair in order to not break even now, this includes dams that have been built recently.
Two of the thousands of consequences that man has brought upon himself and the good earth, and I do mean man, because it wasn’t women that chose this path of destruction.
This reminds me of the poem by Robert Frost: To hear us talk
The tree the tempest with a crash of wood
Throws down in front of us is not to bar
Our passage to our journey’s end for good,
But just to ask us who we think we are
Insisting always on our own way so.
She likes to halt us in our runner tracks,
And make us get down in a foot of snow
Debating what to do without an ax.
And yet she knows obstruction is in vain:
We will not be put off the final goal
We have it hidden in us to attain,
Not though we have to seize earth by the pole
And, tired of aimless circling in one place,
Steer straight off after something into space.
— Robert Frost
touching response, dear poetess!
yes, men at fault then, here & now.
i fully support women taking full control, especially
after those nuclear explosions, dam bursts and other cataclysmic events’, when enough geological time has passed and earth’s destruction has healed, nature is rejuvenated and redwoods and salmon again thrive, living free. 🙂
Great pictures ❤
smiling to your paddling along
with river’s scenary, Leyla 🙂
Thanks for signing up to follow my blog 🙂
It is unfortunate that our species is growing so rapidly that the earth is overwhelmed in many places. Fortunately, there are many people who are working to heal the waters and air, clear the sedimentation, and bring back the salmon runs. Your post is a wonderful reminder of the profound importance of our rivers, David — thanks so much.
Your love of nature
and understanding of it’s
beauty is an inspiration, Jet 🙂
So much to see on your river, David. Tucson has dry rivers – they only flow, of course, when we have heavy rains. Fun places explore on foot and see wildlife. Bats live under the bridges.
thank you for your kindness, susan
and for reminding me of AZ’s rivers
as I used to live
by the Whiteriver
in the White Mtns 🙂
Great photos! Rivers have their own character and atmosphere. I love it!
smiling to your kindly
paddling along, Cecilia 🙂
looks fun and beautiful pictures 🙂
thank you, joshi 🙂
Lovely last photo & premonition.
May it be so.
Wishing you all good things, & thank you for being sharing the sensitivity.
thank you for paddling
kindly along, Marneymae 🙂
A very powerful and poignant post. The juxtaposition of stunning images of beautiful scenery with industry and habitation makes a indisputable point, and that final stanza brought tears to my eyes. Wonderful post my friend, and I trust you enjoyed your journey along the river – it certainly looks like you all had fun. Love and blessings, Harula xxx
thank you for looking
deeply to experience
what i hoped to convey
on our river’s journey, Harula 🙂
Beautiful, thank you!
makes me happy you
find it so, Maria 🙂
I could actually smell the clean, clear air while I was lost in the beauty of this post.
smiling to your kind reflection, Tammi 🙂
Beautiful pictures!! And thank you for sharing the story, sadly people don’t realise the long term effects of messing with the rivers in most cases.
yes, my friend!
it’s the story of
True! A sad story!
That was marvelously put👏 It was so true in the way that yeah, up until modern times our world was outstanding beautiful, lush with life, and filled with color. The river was known in many part of the world in ancient times as something that brings life, something to be valued and (in some countries) even worshipped and feared. A river can be gentle and kind, but at times ferocious and intimidating. But more then that, it is water. Something many of us do not value as highly as we should. I feel we take advantage of the luxury of having water readily available and clean to boot. Maybe that’s why we don’t take to heart the damage we are creating and have been for heaven knows how long. You writing contains a lot of value and reminders that many of us need. due to that our awareness of the signs gets pushed far into the back corners of our subconscious. It amazing how each work posted is like an art. By far the last photo of the river was spectacular. But the one of the three kayaking with the shot taken partly in the water was that really captured the paragraph above it stating how the river offers itself to all, sharing its fresh flowing currents to plants, animals, and humans. Another outstanding work😁👏