Way over in Camden, New Jersey, where 69 people were murdered in 2012, a Catholic priest named Michael Doyle presides over the Sacred Heart parish, and sends out a letter to subscribers every month that boggles the mind. In January, 2013, he ends his letter: “In the river of time we stand, somewhere in the stream of our story, and we pray that our past may be healed, and our future be blessed. Amen.”
You can send an email and ask to subscribe to these eloquent stories at parish@SacredHeartCamden.org. He is a magical Irish holy man elder and a great story teller, and holds the fragile flame of hope for countless families there and across the world.
Last year at this time, the river looked like this:
This year, not so much. Water level is low, way down along the boulders at water’s edge. Snow melt is still to come, so things may perk up a little.
Speaking of story tellers, I belong to a Book Club whose members are all women who live close to the Willamette River, and who watch, like me, the changes every day, and every season. Some are in the flood plain, so they have a more up close and personal relationship with the river at times. They all nod and smile and know that the river is tidal, daily. “Why, yes, of course, I see that all the time!” they say. I like knowing that there is a tribe of women loving the river in their own ways, just south of here.
The source of the Willamette River, Waldo Lake, high up in the Cascades, is now protected from all motorized vehicles of any kind. Thanks be to the Oregon Legislature for this new law. It is a large lake, pristine and beautiful. The source. The source.
John O’Donohue, another Catholic priest, too soon dead, writes in his book Four Elements: Reflections on Nature: “…the discovery of a new source is often accompanied by the sense of a return to something ancient that was always secretly near.”
So we’re back to the river of Time.