After some reflection and sharing on what wisdom we hold about trust and flow, exploring our experience of being in life’s river in ways that we can’t always control, we took part in a ritual of reflection and prayer. In pairs, in whatever way felt comfortable, we took turns to lead a partner with closed eyes up or down stream towards one of the uniquely named and decorated boats placed somewhere along the long and twisting river-alter. There was an intention for some meaning and significance to be held by whichever boat was chosen for us and when we returned to our seats we had time to reflect on this. We meditatively and ritually placed our vessel into the river with a prayer, a thought, an intention, some act of release or whatever served us each personally, and afterwards we collectively sang “Ocean Breath Breathing Me”.
The following resources were gratefully shared at the OneLight Gathering on Friday 13th July 2018 at London's monthly Interfaith Ceremony, generously hosted at Notting Hill's Essex Unitarian Church.
Excerpt from the River Clarion
by Mary Oliver
I don’t know who God is exactly.
But I’ll tell you this.
I was sitting in the river named Clarion, on a water splashed stone
and all afternoon I listened to the voices of the river talking.
Whenever the water struck a stone it had something to say,
and the water itself, and even the mosses trailing under the water.
And slowly, very slowly, it became clear to me what they were saying.
Said the river I am part of holiness.
And I too, said the stone. And I too, whispered the moss beneath the water.
I’d been to the river before, a few times.
Don’t blame the river that nothing happened quickly.
You don’t hear such voices in an hour or a day.
You don’t hear them at all if selfhood has stuffed your ears.
And it’s difficult to hear anything anyway, through all the traffic, the ambition.
If God exists he isn’t just butter and good luck.
He’s also the tick that killed my wonderful dog Luke.
Said the river: imagine everything you can imagine, then keep on going.
Imagine how the lily (who may also be a part of God) would sing to you if it could sing,
if you would pause to hear it.