As the traditional 12 days of Christmas arrive, here's my wish for the 12 things we could all do to love our rivers:
1. We will start each day by asking, 'where' is the water' and 'how do I protect it?'
2. We will re-connect with nature and enjoy the powerful joy of being present in the outdoors.
3. We will learn about and employ a watershed approach to resource management, including changing our approach to land use and real estate development to integrate healthy rivers into our urban designs.
4. We will stop tossing our trash out our car windows, onto our sidewalks, and among our nature trails because we know that everything that touches the ground ends up in our rivers and oceans.
5. We will honor our natural water systems by supporting a healthy habitat first, followed by reliable safety and flood control systems.
6. We will help injured animals and people in distress, coming from love, not ego, whenever we see them in pain or danger.
7. We will wonder at the birds that fly, the fish that swim, the animals that forage, and the peace that is known along a bucolic riverway, whether an urban, suburban, or rural stream.
8. We will be grateful for the safe. clean drinking water we have while we work to conserve water and improve secure potable water delivery in harmony with natural cycles.
9. We will revitalize our neighborhoods using 'green' principles that will protect our earth, water and sky.
10. We will practice individual and collective stewardship, to always leave our rivers, seashores, and wildlands in better condition than how we found them.
11. We will teach our children and grandchildren how to play in nature and be self-reliant, so they will know how to protect our rivers when we are gone.
12. We will remember that our bodies are comprised mostly of water and as such, we are the river. We will come to understand that restoring our rivers is also healing our own personal health.