Uncontrollable and flawlessly wild. The substance that binds our bodies and
quenches our throats. This precious and invaluable resource has unspeakable
power. This value is ever present and largely known. I must pay homage to a
body of flowing water that kept me sane, that kept me loved, and reminded
me that I too can and will persist. This body of water was a river. A river
called Rio Chota. A river that brought life to a valley that holds the
hearts of vivacious people. This valley breathes life into all who take
note of her bliss and to those who do not. Perpetually giving in all
regards, perpetually changing, perpetually constant. The duality that lives
in the heart of a river is a force that lets unanswered questions fade and
bright chickadees smile. This river is always seeking new pathways and land
to flow over, yet always maintaining a flow, never stagnant. This water
reminded me that I too am always evolving, that I too can flow with ease,
that each day comes with the ability to redefine myself. This river was my
home and will forever be. This river washed parts of my soul that had never
seen the sun. This river held the laughter of my vecina and the smiles of
many pals. This river softened the harshness of the rejection from the
world around me. This river roamed with a tenderness that I dream of. This
river coated the bodies of the weak, of the wounded, of the brave, of the
strong, of the pretty, of the hopeful, of the desperate, of the believers.
This river held us all and will continue to unite the souls of many. Water
is the ultimate equalizer. We all need it yet, there lives great injustice
in how and who gets it. Ecuador is home to over 2,000 rivers and has one of
the largest fresh water supplies in the world. This water has been invaded
by human desire. It has been blockaded and trapped by large scale dams.
This water is a lifeforce that cannot be manipulated. There is great fear
in being trapped, we must not apply that human fear to something that
exists in purity, that exists with purpose, desire, and hope. This river
and all rivers speak gently and warmly. They are the spirited narrative of
each droplet of water that has made its way. Hearing this narrative is a
matter of the heart and I can certainly only hear it because of the
blessings from Rio Chota. Rio Chota carved space and light into my
existence and now her words echo from my mouth.