For Labor Day, this excerpt from “River Soldier” seems appropos

“Activism— ‘We live in an occupied country, misunderstood; justice will take us millions of intricate moves.’  William Stafford

“… I live amid a web of sunlit, life-giving streams in Montana. And I relish my time on those streams. Yet I couldn’t help but notice, while reflecting on existence one recent summer’s day, that I was in fact glued to my writing desk in a Venetian-blinded study, ignoring streams and sunlight in order to fight for the who-knows-how-manyth time for the life of some river or creek… “How have I come to this?” asked myself. “What makes me take on these feisty, endless jobs?”

Then a recognition swept through me, and I started to laugh. I’m a … River Soldier. It’s a strange thing to describe at, say, cocktail parties.

“What are you up to these days” someone asks.

“Me? Oh, a little soldiering. Tedious work at times, but I’ve gotta do it. I enlisted as a kid actually. I’m a River Soldier.” …

“So what do you do from day to day?” some want to know.

“Seek justice”, I answer, plundering my favorite William Stafford quote, “via millions of intricate moves”.

Excerpted from My Story as Told by Water– Confessions, Druidic Rants, Reflections, Bird-Watchings, Fish-stalkings, Visions, Songs, and Prayers Refracting Light, From Living Rivers, in the Age of the Industrial Dark. David James Duncan , 2001


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