How green is my valley?

Everybody lives in a watershed, and most of us live in the valley of a large river. Geographers, and many indigenous myths, point to the river as the one that carves the valley, and shapes the surrounding slopes. In Gaillard, we live on the Arve, a word that’s so old the linguists say it pre-dates the Allobroges, the Celtic peoples of this region.

This month, the Arve is reclaiming its beds of gravel from winter, and covering them with muddy milky jade water, as the snows thaw. This is the time of shaping earth, of carving landscapes. Even as they flow through major cities, rivers continue to create our world – and sometimes destroy parts of it.

We can trivialise water by seeing it as something that washes us clean. Easter is a good season for recognising the creative power of water – and our opportunity to work with our local river. How green is my valley?

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