River color

We often go to Letchworth State Park south of Rochester. Sometimes called the Grand Canyon of New York State, the river has cut a deep gorge through earth and rock  and plunges over three waterfalls in its course through the park.  Flowing north from its headwaters in Pennsylvania it cuts mostly through farm lands before it eventually empties into Lake Ontario.  Usually the river appears a muddy brown by the time it gets to Letchworth, carrying the silt washed off the land through which it flows.

There has been heavy rainfall in the northeast in early April when we visited Letchworth. The river, instead of being its usual muddy brown was clearer and greenish in color. The greater volume of water and increased flow we assumed were responsible for the more inviting green color.

On our 2008 sabbatical we saw the bluish color of Columbia Icefields glacial melt and the vibrant color of the Frasier and Thompson Rivers of British Columbia.  The river water was colored by microscopic particles of minerals from the rocks over which the glaciers scraped and then carried along into the river’s flow.

In our lives we are often scraped on the rocks of life situation and events – we continue along in our journey but we carry with us evidence of our encounters. The difference between us and the flowing water of the river is that we can choose what it is we carry with us.

Do we carry with us what we have learned or do we carry grudges? Do we bring with us defensiveness or wisdom? Are we colored by resentment or by acceptance and caring? We need to carefully choose what it is that we will allow to color our lives, and to be that which we choose to carry with us.

Our choices not only color our lives but they affect all those whose lives intersect with ours.

Don

About don

The Rev Don Hill is an Episcopal priest, rail fan and writer. He and his wife the Rev. Dr. Nancy Woodworth-Hill are currently Co-Pastors of St Paul's Episcopal Church, Jeffersonville IN, in the Diocese of Indianapolis. They also work as parish consultants in Appreciative Inquiry, strategic planning and spirituality development for parishes and vestries.
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