BY MY WIFE’S ancestral home flows a river. For a dozen summers I have visited it, and almost every year I make an effort to trace its course back to its source in the neighboring hills; I do not consider my vacation there complete without doing this. In common with other streams of its kind, our river suffers much from the summer drought. I have seen it so shrunken that fish lay lifeless on the parched sand and gravel of its bed. But this past summer I saw something I had never seen before, though I know that if I had been sufficiently observant in other abnormally dry years, I am sure I could not have failed to notice the same thing earlier.
2 One morning last April, in company with a student friend and my elder son. I started out for the hill to spend the day by the rapids and cascades at a place called Intongasan. We followed the course of the river. After we had walked a kilometer or more, I saw that the river had disappeared and its bed was dry. I looked around in wonder because past our little country house below and out toward the sea half a mile or so farther down, the river was flowing clear and steady in Its usual summer volume and depth. But where we stood at the moment there was no water to be seen. All about us the wide river bed was hot and dry.
3 We pursued our way on toward the hills, however, and walking another kilometer we saw the stream again, though it had spread itself so thin that it was lost at the edge of the waterless stretch of burning sand and stones. And yet, continuing our way into the hills, we found the river grow deeper and stronger than it was as it passed by our cottage.
4 To most people, I suppose, there is nothing strange or significant in this. Perhaps they have seen such a phenomenon more than once before. To me, however, it was a new experience and it impressed me like all new experiences. To me, it was not merely strange, it suggested a spiritual truth.
5 Flowing down from... [continues]
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