The Rivers of Truth
Written by Donald Hughes, 2017
“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”
The source of a river is often difficult to find and to determine. One would think a mighty river, like the Nile, the Amazon, or the Mississippi would be easy to navigate to its source, but that has never been the case. Each of these flowing rivers are teaming with life, providing abundant resources and necessary nutrients to sustain existence along their winding path. But their respective sources remained a mystery, and not until determination, perseverance and with great difficulty were they finally discovered and named. And even then, often times disputed.
The source of the Nile was finally credited to John Hanning Speke in August of 1858. His trials and difficulties in the interior of Africa are legendary, but he fought on and found the great lake, Victoria, and so named it. Many disagreed with him, but it stands today as the official source of the mighty Nile.
The Amazon was equally difficult to trace, and as recently as 2014 the centuries old thought of the Apurimac River and Nevado River as the source has been changed to the Mantaro River in Peru by the famous kayak journey of James Contos and the use of modern GPS.
Like the Nile and the Amazon, the Mississippi River has many, many small waterways flowing in and out of it. The Native American Indians that lived along its basin were aware of its source in present day Clearwater County, Minnesota. It is a small lake, only about 1.8 miles in diameter called Lake Itasca (the natives knew it as “Elk Lake”). Henry Schoolcraft was credited with the determination in 1832 after a previous expedition with General Lewis Cass in 1820.
Tales, legends, news and opinions flow freely like these great rivers. They provide information, details and stories that we learn from, and experiences that make us who we are. But like these rivers, the source is hard to determine, and often not even explored or navigated. The details become murky, filled with silt and debris carried by too many sources and too many fingers. Truth is difficult to find, but like the 18th Century explorers forging upstream, the search must be done with incredible determination and resolve, energy and fortitude, drive and courage…
The truth is that the source of these grand rivers are many small streams and watersheds. They come together and form the strong currents that eventually become the mighty Nile, Amazon and Mississippi. And their source is the precious rain-fall and snowpack. And their source is the evaporation of the majestic oceans and seas, the precise delta of the mighty rivers’ flow. And the source of the oceans and seas? Well, you explore, navigate the tides and run the rapids, then decide for yourself. The journey will be well worth it.