“Our Great Journey” (from chapter Water Is Story)
As young girls, my sister and I conjured epic stories of thrilling adventure and discovery from interstellar travel in the far reaches of the Universe, to the exploration of the great Nile and Amazon Rivers of Earth. We’d never been out of Quebec, Canada, let alone on a space voyage; yet, we both shared a vivid idea of the characters of these exotic places. Without realizing it, we were tracing water’s great journey.
The great rivers of the world stir thoughts of adventure, exploration and travel. Rivers such as the Seine, Volga, Thames, Danube, and Mississippi each carry their own myth and romance. Even with transportation less concentrated on waterways, we still think of our rivers as flowing networks that connect us. Pacific and Atlantic salmon well recognize that each river tells a unique story.
The four oldest civilizations sprang from the fertile floodplains of some of the world’s greatest rivers, writes Philip Ball, science writer and former editor of Nature. Mesopotamia (now Iraq) had the Tigris and Euphrates; the Harrapan culture (now Pakistan) had the Indus, shared with India; India also had the Ganges, Yamuna, and Brahmaputra, all originating in the Himalayas. China had the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers that came to them from the Tibetan plateau; and Egypt had the fertile Nile River.
This article is an excerpt from “Water Is…” (Pixl Press) by Nina Munteanu