Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Shall we gather at the river?

With a little help from some big machinery, the estero behind our house is finally draining. (Check Jeanette's blog for pictures). Larry and I are very close to the ocean shore, and the estuary is relatively wide and deep this far downstream. But the stagnant water was getting to be just a tad distressing to our neighbors farther upstream. The machine-made channel may last just a few more days, but having the tide flush in and out has made things a lot more pleasant for those folks with clothes pins on their noses.
I've sort of been caught up in this estero draining experience, because river as metaphor has been occupying my thoughts for well over a year now. Frankly, for a lot of that time, I've felt, both physically and mentally, stagnant and polluted. When I stumbled across the history of the biblical River Gihon, I was intrigued. The name comes from a Hebrew root meaning "to burst forth," and refers to the fact that the Gihon came out of a virgin spring which in really ancient times, was the principal water-source for the city of Jerusalem. But the super-macho king Hezekiah, in an effort to "protect" the water supply, dammed it up, and diverted it in a 1700 foot serpentine aqueduct around the city. It eventually emerged at the Pool of Siloam, which was essentially a brackish cesspool, the water ultimately fit only for watering some gardens in the area.
I identified with Gihon. In a number of areas in my personal and professional life, I was feeling blocked, bottled up, diverted and sent underground. I was also extremely pissed off at the U. S. administration for bogging the country down in a cesspool of a situation.
The whole change of scene when we came down here was fresh --including the estero behind us. The heavy rains kept the channel free and the river flowing. I felt myself free to "let loose" and "burst forth." On our first visit to Rincon del Cielo (see previous post), I was immediately drawn to the prayer flag that Juan and Maria have pinned to one wall in their "corner of heaven." Click on the image, make it bigger, and read the words.
I know, I know. Mexico has longstanding stagnant pools of corruption and vice. But there aren't too many places these days that don't. The cesspools of the world need our prayers. So the petition on the flag is for all places, including the country to the north, and the country here around me. The prayer is for me....and for Mexico.

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