I came across this wonderful little poem. It appeared in a second grade reading textbook in an article about the life of a poet. To my dismay, the publisher of the book did not include the title of the poem or the year that it was published. Unfortunately, my internet research has failed to uncover this information, but the poem itself, titled or not, speaks to the heart so I thought I would share it with you:
Rivers are children holding hands;
playing at running to the sea, tugging.
Waves are children holding hands,
playing at greeting the world, hugging, and hugging.
This poem is by Chilean poet and Nobel laureate, Gabriela Mistral. A teacher, a diplomat, and a traveler, Gabriela was an advocate for children. She wrote many poems about children and about nature, especially about her native country, Chile. When I first read this poem, I was immediately stirred by the connection Gabriela makes between children and nature. Like our children, the natural world is beautiful, pure, and innocent. It needs our care and gentle nurturing so that it will be enjoyed by the next generation and beyond. I must share with you that when I began to read “Rivers are children holding hands”, a picture of my husband’s two year old granddaughter, River, flashed into my mind. I could envision River holding hands with other children and laughing. The image of children holding hands and playing is joyful, and when I connect it to the image of a flowing river I feel light and happy. To me, children are everything. To all of us, the Earth is everything.
I found a quote that relates well to the importance of nature, in a way that Gabriela Mistral might have appreciated. Albert Einstein, winner of a Nobel Prize in Physics, said this:
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
There is wisdom to be gained by taking the time to observe and to value even the tiniest components of our world. Gabriela Mistral knew that from observing rivers, and from her time spent with children. Albert Einstein knew it from his work in physics. If we use our senses and open your hearts, we will undoubtedly understand the world in which we live better, too.