World Rivers Day

Contributor: Cristin Smith
Photographer: Cristin Smith
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“Rivers are the arteries of our planet; they are lifelines in the truest sense.” —Mark Angelo

Wild waters are themselves healing in the purest ways. Oceans remind us how small we are, and yet how much potential our small spirits carry. Stand in the sea and let the salt and the waves remove afflictions and negative energies. Lakes show us incredible cycles of survival and rebirth. From the hundreds of tiny tadpoles that take over small, shallow corners of ponds, to the amazing schools of fish that can survive winters under layers of ice, lakes hold energies that support life in unbelievable ways. And rivers, well, rivers are the powerful forces of Earth that decide where every drop of water that falls from the sky flows. Rivers are responsible for the Grand Canyon, cleansing our planet, and they carve the Earth into beautiful puzzle pieces. 

Every year, on the last Sunday in September, people in communities all around the world recognize World Rivers Day. It is a day to celebrate our beautiful waterways, educate people on their importance, and learn how to better care for them. As a society, we tend to forget that all the water we use, from the water we flush to the dish water in the kitchen sink to the storm drains outside of our homes, all eventually flow back into the Earth. So even the simple act of washing your car in your driveway or watering your grass can send harmful chemicals back into the environment. Consider using organic fertilizers for your lawn, and avoid harsh weed killers and pesticides. These chemicals will leach into the soil and eventually back into our planet’s water systems.


So how do we honor and care for our rivers? Find a river near you. Hike to a secluded spot next to it. Take your journal. Spend some time with your feet in the rapids, observe the wild around you, and write down the energies that you feel. Watch the birds on the banks dipping into the waters to catch bugs, the squirrels running up and down trees surrounding you. Soak up the raging sounds of water caressing the Earth. Take some time to think about your water footprint. What you’re using, what you’re putting into the environment, even perhaps what you might be wasting. What chemicals are in your soaps, shampoos, and laundry detergents? Water is the source of life; we cannot live on this planet without it. Our rivers not only help purify our planet with their very own filtering system of rocks, pebbles, plants, and wildlife, but they also support so many vital species in their own quest for survival. Pollution, deforestation, and the construction of dams puts fish populations at serious risk, which in turn affects the entire ecosystem. Our rivers are important.

So as we come to the end of September, spend a moment to honor and learn about our planet’s rivers. Visit to see if there are events in your area, and if not, start one!