Rivers have become an ongoing series in Dawn’s work. They provide places for meditative reflection. They are non-static, ever changing and in continual conversation with nature.
The catalyst for this interest was spurred by a visit to the Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon. Here, the water feature is “The River of Life” which flows through the garden and echoes the ebb and flow of living….with a source, a journey and an end. The river in this garden, is an allegory for the stages and experience of life. Water features in Japanese Gardens have been popular since the Edo Period ( 1603 – 1867) when Strolling Pond Gardens where introduced as a design feature to enhance the pleasure and relaxation of the garden retreat.
Rivers play a significant role in every culture. In Hermann Hesse’s novel “Siddhartha”, the river becomes the teacher. Siddhartha “learned from it how to listen…to listen with a still heart, with a waiting, open soul, without passion, without desire, without judgement, without opinion.”
Rivers are universally important to individuals and civilizations. They are worthy of our contemplation and protection.