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Tale of Two Rivers

The mighty Athabasca River, with its headwaters in the Columbia Icefields of Alberta flows purposefully northeastward to its mouth at Lake Athabasca in Saskatchewan.

At a point along the Athabasca’s powerful journey, the tiny Miette River with its headwaters in the hills to the west of Jasper Alberta, joins the Athabasca at the confluence of these two rivers and they continue from there to flow as one.

Confluence. I like this word. The coming together of two rivers can be compared to the human experience of combining knowledge and experience and moving forward together. A collaboration, a shared purpose, a common goal.

We can learn something from these two rivers, quietly and continuously making their way to where they need to be. Like people, they each have their origins in different places and have been on separate journeys. They even look different and sound different. But when they meet, they shake hands (well right now they fist bump but they’ll shake hands one day again soon), accept one another without resistance, and flow peacefully, powerfully, and purposefully forth, stronger as a result of their confluence.

It is like they are listening to each other, gaining understanding, adapting, changing, evolving, and accepting a new way forward.

I am curious about how our world might look if we as people behaved more like these two rivers.

Be kind and stay healthy.

Doug Dougherty


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