Dorrigo Life Springs

‘For I know well the spring that flows and runs, although it is night’….


The traditional custodians of the land that is now known as Dorrigo are the  Gumbaynggirr nation. “They were renowned as the ‘sharing people’ because their land was so rich that food and other resources were commonly shared with other nations.”…/01_Gumbaynggir_Nation.p…

Red Cedar brought the timber cutters in 1841 and the rich soil and good water ensured settlement by the 1860’s. The soil is a volcanic legacy and there are springs of water to be found all over this region.

John and I were exploring the network of lanes and roads that sashay through the  folded hills, green even in drought, and would often see water coming out of a hillside, and again around the next bend, and again. This is one reason our gathering is called “LifeSprings”. The image of God’s people used by Jeremiah, “they are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought”,  resonates in this physical geography.

Jesus gave us Himself as living water so we would never be thirsty again, and He gave us the Holy Spirit so that out of us would flow rivers of living water so that others could drink and live.

This poem, written by St John of the Cross who lived in the latter half of the 16th century, testifies of spiritual geographies that are no less real.

Cantar del alma que se huelga de conocer a Dios por fe

(Song of the soul that rejoices in knowing God by faith)

For I know well the spring that flows and runs,

although it is night.

1. That eternal spring is hidden,

for I know well where it has its rise,

although it is night.

2. I do not know its origin, nor has it one,

but I know that every origin has come from it,

although it is night.

3. I know that nothing else is so beautiful,

and that the heavens and the earth drink there,

although it is night.

4. I know well that it is bottomless

and no one is able to cross it,

although it is night.

5. Its clarity is never darkened,

and I know that every light has come from it,

although it is night.

6. I know that its streams are so brimming

they water the lands of hell, the heavens, and earth,

although it is night.

7. I know well the stream that flows from this spring

is mighty in compass and power,

although it is night.

8. I know the stream proceeding from these two,

that neither of them in fact precedes it,

although it is night.

9. This eternal spring is hidden

in this living bread for our life’s sake,

although it is night.

10. It is here calling out to creatures;

and they satisfy their thirst, although in darkness,

because it is night.

11. This living spring that I long for,

I see in this bread of life,

although it is night.”


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