Walkin’ on water

Well, at least where the water used to be.

But when I look up and around while standing on the gravel river bottom out in the middle of the river, I truly feel a spiritual connection to the trees. And I feel sometimes like I could walk on water.

And as I walk back up out of the river and onto my 2 and a half acres on the river, and look around at the heavy cover of trees, I ponder in what sense do I own these beings?

Carol read that White Oaks can live to be 450-600 years old. We "own" several of these beautiful, old trees, the state tree of Illinois. Much of the debate this campaign season, at least out here in District 1, is about property rights. But in what sense do we have any rights to a 450 year-old White Oak, despite that it is rooted in "our" property? Can we really cut down such a beast if we please? Is that what our concept of "ownership" and "rights" means? Is that what people are fighting for? Why?

At the USRC, we consider ourselves "stewards" of our river, and we are all very much "stewards" of our land and all that we "own." And as stewards, we are obligated to take care of it, and as my Dad always said after a campout, leave it cleaner than we found it. Better than we found it.

That is our obligation and our responsibility to our earth. Maybe we should think about our responsibilities rather than our rights.

We should try to remember that any time we start thinking we "walk on water".


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