Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A River Runs Through It

The Lot River at Larnagol
This week my online Lenten retreat is meditating on landscape and how it shapes us, how Creation's elements...earth, air, fire and water...bless our lives. The landscapes of my childhood were suburbia, the California coast and the Sierra Nevada mountains. As an adult, I've lived in spectacular settings...the Colorado Rockies, Yellowstone Park, the sweep of the Midwestern prairies and lush farmland in Iowa. Now I find myself in an entirely different landscape.

Here I live in a narrow river valley of earth and water, stone and river. The land is anchored by the river which threads through it, stitching together cliffs and causse, medieval villages, farmland and forests. The river draws people, animals, birds and fish to it. It interconnects everything along it with stories, song, myths and laughter. Here the landscape is not majestic or spectacular; it's softened by the patina of age. It doesn't shout; it whispers its secrets. It's a landscape not for photo-ops, but rather for living in, listening to and learning from. It's a landscape that I delight in every day, always fascinated by what it tells me.

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