50 River Quotes That Apply to Life and Going With The Flow

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These river quotes about life and love illustrate just how alike our lives and the river can be!

A river has often been used as a metaphor for life. In fact, some believe comparing a river to life is the best metaphor there is! Just how does a river compare to life though?

Well, rivers start off slowly, usually picking up speed and power as they crash over rocks or rush downhill. People also start out not even being able to move on their own, but eventually, we get bigger and more capable.

We get better at encountering challenges, like rocks or hills in our path. If we are lucky, those obstacles strengthen us.

Life and the river are also alike in the sense that things work best when we go with the flow! The river really has no choice and just flows.

Granted, there are things along the river that might slow it down, cause it to rush ahead, or change its direction, but very little can stop it from flowing.

We can be like the river and learn to adjust and adapt, changing course when necessary, but always flowing. These beautiful river quotes about the flow will show you what I mean!

Don’t forget to also check out these ocean quotes that inspire beauty and depth.

Famous river quotes and sayings about the flow of the river

1. “I’m really quite simple. I plant flowers and watch them grow… I stay at home and watch the river flow.” — George Harrison

2. “Between flattery and admiration there often flows a river of contempt.” — Minna Antrim

3. “The blues is a mighty long road. Or it could be a river, one that twists and turns and flows into a sea of limitless musical potential.” — Billy Gibbons

4. “The river flows at its own sweet will, but the flood is bound in the two banks. If it were not thus bound, its freedom would be wasted.”  Vinoba Bhave

5. “A dream is like a river ever-changing as it flows and a dreamer’s just a vessel that must follow where it goes.” — Garth Brooks

6. “I had no plans of any destination. I wish to flow like a river.” — Lailah Gifty Akita

7. “Be like a river. Be open. Flow.” — Julie Connor

8. “I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.”  John O’Donohue

9. “River is time in water; as it came, still, so it flows, yet never is the same.” — Barten Holyday

10. “Rivers flow not past, but through us; tingling, vibrating, exciting every cell and fiber in our bodies, making them sing and glide.” — John Muir

Beautiful river quotes about love and life

11. “I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you till China and Africa meet and the river jumps over the mountain and the salmon sing in the street.” — W. H. Auden

12. “Love, like a river, will cut a new path whenever it meets an obstacle.”  Crystal Middlemas

13. “Love is the river of life in the world.”  Henry Ward Beecher

14. “For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.” — Khalil Gibran

15. “Life is like the river, sometimes it sweeps you gently along and sometimes the rapids come out of nowhere.” — Emma Smith

16. “A river is water in its loveliest form, rivers have life and sound and movement and infinity of variation, rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart.” — Roderick Haig-Brown

17. “A river doesn’t just carry water, it carries life.” — Amit Kalantri

18. “A good river is nature’s life work in song.”  Mark Helprin

19. “The river waters quench the thirst of all living beings.” — Ram Nath Kovind

20. “Those who stand at the threshold of life always waiting for the right time to change are like the man who stands at the bank of a river waiting for the water to pass so he can cross on dry land.” — Joseph B. Wirthlin

21. “We must begin thinking like a river if we are to leave a legacy of beauty and life for future generations.” — David Brower

22. “Life is like a river. It will either drag you with its flow, or you can learn to surf. Choice is yours.” — Nitin Kishore Rawat

Inspirational and wise river quotes to live by

23. “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” — Heraclitus

24. “You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.” — Paulo Coelho

25. “If my ship sails from sight, it doesn’t mean my journey ends. It simply means the river bends.” — Enoch Powell

26. “Never insult an alligator until after you have crossed the river.” — Cordell Hull

27. “The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river.” — Ross Perot

28. “You can’t be unhappy in the middle of a big, beautiful river.” — Jim Harrison

29. “A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” — Jim Watkins

30. “The river moves, but it follows a path. When it tires of one journey, it rubs through some rock to forge a new way. Hard work, but that’s its nature.” — Kekla Magoon

31. “The river is constantly turning and bending and you never know where it’s going to go and where you’ll wind up. Following the bend in the river and staying on your own path means that you are on the right track. Don’t let anyone deter you from that.”  Eartha Kitt

32. “We steer the boat, we don’t alter the river.”  J. Earp

33. “A river has many curves, but it always reaches the ocean.” — Donald L. Hicks

Poetic river quotes that are simply moving and beautiful

34. “Many a calm river begins as a turbulent waterfall, yet none hurtles and foams all the way to the sea.” — Mikhail Lermontov

35. “True merit, like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes.” — Edward Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax

36. “A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.”  Laura Gilpin

37. “If the earth is a mother, then rivers are her veins.”  Amit Kalantri

38. “To put your hands in a river is to feel the chords that bind the earth together.” — Barry Lopez

39. “He who does not know his way to the sea should take a river for his guide.” — Blaise Pascal

40. “The river has great wisdom and whispers its secrets to the hearts of men.”  Mark Twain

41. “Who hears the rippling of rivers will not utterly despair of anything.”  Henry David Thoreau

42. “Just as a drop of water in the ocean cannot avail much; but if a great river runneth into it, that maketh a great commotion.” — Jakob Bohme

River quotes on life lessons

43. “What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn’t have any doubt – it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn’t want to go anywhere else.” — Hal Boyle

44. “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.” — Mark Twain

45. “Beside the river there are two things you never forget, that the moment you look at a river that moment has already passed, and that everything is on its way somewhere else.”  Niall Williams

46. “Rivers are places that renew our spirit, connect us with our past, and link us directly with the flow and rhythm of the natural world.” — Ted Turner

47. “I was still water, held by my surroundings. I am now a river, carving my own path.” — Scott Stabile

48. “The river asked me who I was to be gazing so longingly into her curving body of cascading dreams and shifting beauty.” — Todd Crawshaw

49. “The sun shines not on us but in us. The Rivers flow not past, but through us.” — John Muir

50. “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” — A. A. Milne

What did you learn from these River quotes?

Rivers are more than just a metaphor for life, they are essential in their own right. Why are rivers so important?

A river carries water and nutrients to other bodies of water, all of which are connected around the earth. They also provide a habitat and food source for many animals and organisms.

The role of a river in the water cycle is to act as a drainage channel for surface water, which covers about 75% of the earth’s land.

Rivers are also an important component of travel routes. These routes are used for tourism, exploration, commerce, and recreational purposes. Rivers help keep the food supply up because they keep the soil fertile for farmers.

Rivers are also vital for providing energy thanks to water turbines and hydroelectric plants. Rivers can also just be a lot of fun too!

On a hot summer’s day, a river is also the perfect place to get away for a nice cool float. Or if you are more of an adventure seeker, you can go whitewater rafting.

Which of these river quotes and sayings is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section below.

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