Dudley was only whispering as he passed overhead but Eunice reached us howling, bringing down trees and gusty Franklin buffeted in her trail, all shape shifting their ways through the Glen and beyond.
This morning we have snow, the warm earth kisses away the cold white touch as blue skies open and close letting in the sun’s warm gaze, a dizzy blinking rhythm beats out between dazzling and occluded sun brought almost to touch with the sweeping snowfalls.
The river runs brown again in the Glen today and yesterday, a building development up stream is leeching earthworks into the passing watercourse, seemingly unperturbed by the opacity its activities are creating in the water… and undisturbed by their effects on aquatic life.. .. I see the ducks swirling about on the surface and wonder what is happening below. Looking more closely from the land I see the particles borne along in rivulets within the water’s body. Where stiller, the water’s silty borders lap the parkland’s claggy edges. Still the watercourse hurries those brown particles relentlessly through, wherever the dust eventually settles, it is for now waterborne.
Here rivers have no rights. In 2011 a provincial court in Ecuador set a precedent when it ruled in favour of the rights of The Vilcabamba River over damaging road construction. In 2012 The Whanganui River on New Zealand’s North Island was the first in the world to be granted legal personhood. The Ganges and Yumana these rivers, already Hindu deities, became India’s first living entity in 2017.
Canada in 2021 granted personhood to The Magpie and, based on native Innu customs and practices, the river was accorded nine basic rights :
The right to flow
The right to respect for its cycles
The right for its natural evolution to be protected and preserved
The right to maintain its natural biodiversity
The right to fulfill its essential functions within its ecosystem
The right to maintain its integrity
The right to be safe from pollution
The right to regenerate and be restored
The right to sue.
Russia has invaded Ukraine