Armchair Peregrinations

Sept. 26, 2004

I was talking to someone the other day about how awful the news is, how we are fixated on it each and every day...waiting for some shoe to drop, some new terrorist abomination, another dreadful Category 3 hurricane to strike somewhere. The list goes on and on. Woe and misery plague us in the news: sadness and hardship, tragic storm aftermaths, war and the unfathomable chaos that is Iraq. As bad as all this is -- and I can tell you that as a former journalist, I know that bad news sells papers -- there is much hope and light in the world. We just don't hear about it or read it in the papers.

That is why I came back to a site that has seemed to hang in there with stories of only uplifting or positive events and achievements. And in my search, I also found another. Some of the other "good news" Web sites I found out about y ears ago no longer update. I guess there hasn't been much readership for that kind of news. But some are out there, struggling to place hope on a pedestal and engender feelings of optimism and, yes, hope that the state of affairs in the world will right itself ultimately.

In every nook and corner of our world, there is beauty and there are many examples of humanitarianism and love to vanguish the ugly and sordid realities that we can't ignore, but which we don't have to fixate on. I think our perceptions of reality need to be cleansed at times. We are aware of the bad, but we should concentrate on the good. I think that is the sane approach to take in a world that appears to be careening out of control.

Great News

Positive News

Sept. 6, 2004

Here is calm so deep, grasses cease waving...wonderful how completely everything in wld nature dits into us, as if truly part and parent of us. the sun shines not on us, but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell and substance of our bodies, making them glaide and sing.

John Muir

Along the river banks we wandered, you and I,
Full happy in today and thoughts of by and by;
Aboved the shaded path the gentle summer breeee
Seemed whipering a song amid the rustling leaves.

Benj F. Brown
I thought of Thee, my partner and my guide,
As being pass'd away.—Vain sympathies!
 For, backward, Duddon! as I cast my eyes,
I see what was, and is, and will abide;
Still glides the Stream, and shall forever glide;
The Form remains, the Function never dies...

William Wordsworth

There is nothing that gives me such comfort as walking along the banks of a small river or stream, whether seeking refuge in an urban settting or finding solace deep in the woods where only the birds and squirrels stir the deep solitude. My eyes seek out every bend in a river, as I cross over them on bridges, wondering where each twist and turn leads, thinking how mysterious and amazing these flowing streams are.

Those few and precious times I have been able to sit beside a creek and watch the water glide by over logs or rocks have been magical and special beyond words. I sit mesmerized by the water as it ceaselessly flows on toward the ocean, ultimately. The water's flow is steady, sure, purposeful. It has a direction and goal, and it never stops. If water is the symbol of life, rivers are the symbol of eternal life, it seems to me.

Many years ago, I walked along a trail beside Black Creek in southern Mississippi where the world hardly seemed to encroach. I canoed along its winding course for miles, marveling at the clear, tea-colored water and white sand banks where we would pull up our canoes and sit and rest, watching the creek continue on its way while we contemplated the stillness and beauty of Nature.

When I see a river or stream flowing by, I think deeply, and feel strongly that time's bond are loosened, and there is freedom and peace at the end, just the the river merges silently with the sea.

Wordsworth said it so eloquently in his "Valedictory Sonnet to the River Duddon": Still glides the stream, and shall forever glide.

A scene along Black Creek that I remember so well

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