A river receives everything…yet it cleanses itself

To sit on the bank of a river and let the waters
flow by, to watch the gentle ripples and hear the
lapping of the ripples on the bank; to see the wind
on the water making patterns; to see the swallows
touching the water, the water catching insects; and
in the distance, across the water, on the other bank,
human voices or a boy playing the flute, of a still
evening, quietens all the noise about one. Somehow,
the waters seem to purify one, cleanse the dust of
yesterday’s memories and give that quality to the mind
of its own pureness, as the water in itself is pure.
A river receives everything—the sewer, the corpses,
the filth of the cities it passes, and yet it cleanses
itself within a few miles. It receives everything and
remains itself, neither caring nor knowing the pure
from impure. It’s only the ponds, the little puddles
that are soon contaminated, for they are not living,
flowing, as the wide, sweet-smelling flowing rivers.
Our minds are small puddles, soon made impure.
It’s the little pond, called mind, that judges, weighs,
analyzes, and yet remains the little pool of
responsibility.

Letters to a Young Friend - 25
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