150+ River Quotes – Best Sayings & Quotes About River

(Last Updated On: January 28, 2024)

With their tranquil meanders and unstoppable currents, rivers have woven their way into our hearts and stories throughout history.

In the realm of river quotes, we find a tapestry of words that celebrate the profound beauty and life lessons these waterways offer. Amidst this collection, the “Inspirational River Quotes” guides us toward the quotes that uplift spirits and ignite motivation. People across time have turned to these quotes as showing lights, using their wisdom to navigate challenges, find solace in moments of uncertainty, and derive courage from the river’s unwavering flow.

Join us as we explore the impact of these quotes by creating colorful images of rivers and the inspiration they provide in our lives.

Inspirational River Quotes

When you whisper about something, it’s too big, and you can’t get it under control and take control of it. – Joan Rivers


It is the omnipresent rush of water which give the Este Gardens their peculiar character.  From the Anio, drawn up the hillside at incalculable cost and labour, a thousand rills gush downward, terrace by terrace, channeling the stone rails of the balusters, leaping from step to step, dripping into mossy conches, flashing in spray from the horns of sea-gods and the jaws of mythical monsters, or forcing themselves in irrepressible overflow down the ivy-matted banks. –  Edith Wharton

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build bridges even when there are no rivers. — Nikita Khrushchev


Take a look at your natural river. What are you? Stop playing games with yourself. Where’s your river going? Are you riding with it? Or are you rowing against it? Don’t you see that there is no effort if you’re riding with your river? – Frederick Carl Frieseke


The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river. -Ross Perot


The first river you paddle runs through the rest of your life. It bubbles up in pools and eddies to remind you who you are. – Lynn Culbreath Noel


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


So we unhitched a skiff and pulled down the river two mile and a half, to the big scar on the hillside, and went ashore. – Mark Twain

A king knows what to do and does it. Even when it’s hard. – LAURA LINNEY


No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man. –Heraclitus


For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. – Khalil Gibran


Sometimes, we are so attached to our way of life that we turn down wonderful opportunities simply because don’t know what to do with it. – Paulo Coelho


The River of Life has no meaning, no good, no bad, no better, no worse, no love, no hate, no fear, no anger, no joy. The River of Life has no judgment, no expectation. The River of Life just IS. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie


Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there someday. – A. A. Milne

A river doesn’t just carry water, it carries life. – Amit Kalantri


A good river is nature’s life work in song. ― Mark Helprin


O, clear are England’s waters all, her rivers, streams, and rills, Flowing stilly through her valleys lone and winding by her hills; But river, stream, or rivulet through all her breadth who names For beauty and for pleasantness with our own pleasant Thames? – WILLIAM COX BENNETT


No matter how full the river, it still wants to grow. – African Proverb


Every human being should keep alive within them the sacred flame of madness, but should behave as a normal person. – Paulo Coelho


Who hears the rippling of rivers will not utterly despair of anything. – Henry David Thoreau

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


The Ganga is more than a river. She is the Holy Mother. She is Ganga Ma. – Ronald Barrett


The river is one of my favorite metaphors, the symbol of the great flow of Life Itself. The river begins at Source, and returns to Source, unerringly. This happens every single time, without exception. We are no different. – Jeffrey R. Anderson


I have seen the sea when it is storm and wild; when it is quiet and serene when it is dark and moody. And in all these moods, I see myself. – Martin Buxbaum


May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children. ― Rainer Maria Rilke


It is from small streams that big rivers rise. ― Matshona Dhliwayo


Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away. – Marcus Aurelius

What makes me laugh is, of course, the absurd, the horror – anything that upsets me. – Joan Rivers


If gardeners will forget a little the phrase, watering the plants and think of watering as a matter of watering the earth under the plants, keeping up its moisture content and gauging its need, the garden will get on very well. –  Henry Beston


Razors pain you; rivers are damp; acids stain you; and drugs cause cramp. Guns aren’t lawful; nooses give; gas smells awful; you might as well live. — Dorothy Parker


And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. – Bible


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


A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure. – Oliver Wendell Holmes


We call upon the waters that rim the earth, horizon to horizon, that flow in our rivers and streams, that fall upon our gardens and fields, and we ask that they teach us and show us the way. – Chinook Blessing Litany

Well, about this time he was found in the river drownded, about twelve mile above town, so people said. – MARK TWAIN


He says ‘Your wallet or your life, bitch. I’m leaving with one of ’em’. – TIM ROBBINS


Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river.   – LAO TZU


Lord, protect our decisions, because making Decision is a way of praying. Give us the courage after our doubts, to be able to choose between one road and another. May our YES always be a YES and our NO always be a NO. Once we have chosen our road, may we never look back nor allow our soul to be eaten away by remorse. And in order for this to be possible. – Paulo Coelho


In Amsterdam, the river and canals have been central to city life for the last four centuries. – Janet Echelman


Do not speak to me of rules. This is war! This is not a game of cricket! – from the movie The Bridge On The River Kwai Hitch a Ride on the River of Life. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie


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

Be like a river. Be open. Flow. – Julie Connor


When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. — Rumi


The Thames is liquid history. – JOHN BURNS


No river can return to its source, yet all rivers must have a beginning. – American Indian Proverb


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. – Leo Tolstoy


Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time? That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future. – Hermann Hesse


The river is everywhere. —Hermann Hesse

But the river remains unchanged, sad, refusing rehabilitation. – James Kirkup


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


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


There is another alphabet, whispering from every leaf, singing from every river, shimmering from every sky. ― Dejan Stojanovic


A river is honored for its fish, not its size. ― Matshona Dhliwayo


If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: ‘President Can’t Swim. – Lyndon B. Johnson


All my way through college, I worked my way as a window dresser for Lord & Taylor, so I always liked fashion. I always loved fashion and I love that we can do it and not take it seriously. – Joan Rivers

The good rain, like the bad preacher, does not know when to leave off. –  Ralph Waldo Emerson


Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams – they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do – they all contain truths. – Muhammad Ali


The Yellowstone river is a beautiful river to navigate. – William Henry Ashley


If my ship sails from sight, it doesn’t mean my journey ends, it simply means the river bends. – Enoch Powell


The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes “sight-seeing. – Daniel J. Boorstin


Rivers have what man most respects and longs for in his own life and thought- a capacity for renewal and replenishment, continual energy, creativity, cleansing. – John Kauffmann


I noticed some pieces of limbs and such things floating down, and a sprinkling of bark; so I knowed the river had begun to rise. – Mark Twain

I’m tired of wishing things made sense. I’m tired of caring about some dead girl, and there’s just gonna be another one after her. Sending killers to jail is just sending them where they’ve been heading all their dumb, pathetic lives. The dead are still dead. – KEVIN BACON


I’m not confused about what I want. What I want is to quench my thirst for life. Not having the glass I want to drink out of isn’t going to stop me from cupping my hands and drinking it from a raging river.  – Stacy Hoch


All religions lead to the same God, and all deserve the same respect. Anyone who chooses a religion is also choosing a collective way for worshipping and sharing the mysteries. Nevertheless, that person is the only one responsible for his or her actions along the way and has no right to shift responsibility for any personal decisions on to that religion. – Paulo Coelho


I’ve always been fascinated by the Mississippi River and the way of life in these small river towns. -Daniel Woodrell


The River of Life can cut through solid rock – in its own time. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie


The song of the river ends not at her banks, but in the hearts of those who have loved her. – Buffalo  Joe


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

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


The Thames shouldered its way past Blackfriars Bridge, impatient with the ancient piers, no longer the passive stream that slid past Chelsea Marina, but a rush of ugly water that had scented the open sea and was ready to make a run for it. – J. G. BALLARD


How lovely the little river is, with its dark changing wavelets! It seems to me like a living companion while I wander along the bank, and listen to its low, placid voice… – George Eliot


To put your hands in a river is to feel the chords that bind the earth together. – Barry Lopez


I choose to listen to the river for a while, thinking river thoughts, before joining the night and the stars. – Edward Abbey


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


When I reached the [Yosemite] valley, all the rocks seemed talkative and more lovable than ever. They are dear friends, and have warm blood gushing through their granite flesh; and I love them with a love intensified by long and close companionship. … I … bathed in the bright river, sauntered over the meadows, conversed with the domes, and played with the pines. – John Muir

The care of rivers is not a question of rivers but of the human heart. – Shozo Tanaka


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


I like geography best, he said, because your mountains & rivers know the secret. Pay no attention to boundaries. ― Brian Andreas


If the Ganges is the mother, Himalayas is the father. One nurtures and nourishes, the other provides and protects. ― Vinita Kinra


Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire. – Jorge Luis Borges


I have no line. If I think it’s funny, it’s funny. – Joan Rivers


We’re all downstream. –  Jim and Margaret Drescher


All rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full. — Bible

While the river of life glides along smoothly, it remains the same river; only the landscape on either bank seems to change. – Max Muller


What is a fish without a river? What is a bird without a tree to nest in? What is an Endangered Species Act without any enforcement mechanism to ensure their habitat is protected? It is nothing. – Jay Inslee


The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. – John Muir


There’s nothing…absolutely nothing…half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats. –Kenneth Grahame


He abused me a little for being so slow, but I told him I fell in the river, and that was what made me so long. – Mark Twain


I remember I was more afraid of my little daughter than I ever was of being in prison. – Jimmy Markum


Never give up; for even rivers someday wash dams away.  – Arthur Golden


I understand once again that the greatness of God always reveals itself in the simple things. – Paulo Coelho

In spirituals, the talk of heaven and deliverance was code for a better life. ‘Crossing the River Jordan’ was code, of course, for escaping to freedom. – Kathleen Battle


The River of Life has no judgments. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie


The Sun shines not on us but in us. The Rivers flow not past, But through us. – John Muir


When the river meets the sea, he dies! Because the character of the river is to flow and when the character dies, everything dies! – Mehmet Murat ildan


We do not remember days, we remember moments. — Cesare Pavese


The yellow leaves begin to fade And flutter from the Temple elms, And at my feet, the pale green Thames Lies like a rod of rippled jade. – OSCAR WILDE


An individual human existence should be like a river. – Bertrand Russell


How could drops of water know themselves to be a river? Yet the river flows on. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops under the rocks are the words and some of the words are theirs. – Norman Maclean


Love is the river of life in the world. — Henry Ward Beecher


The slow yellow river flowing, willows that gesture in tepid August airs, and four children playing at greatness, as, doubtless, great men themselves must play. – Sinclair Lewis


As the river surrenders itself to the ocean, what is inside me moves inside you. – Kabir


A Woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself. – Maya Angelou


On and on they flew, over the countryside parceled out in patches of green and brown, over roads and rivers winding through the landscapes like strips of matte and glossy ribbon. ― J.K. Rowling


A river that feeds a village is better than an ocean that merely decorates an island. ― Matshona Dhliwayo

We have an unknown distance yet to run, an unknown river to explore. What falls there are, we know not; what rocks beset the channel, we know not; what walls ride over the river, we know not. Ah, well! we may conjecture many things.  – John Wesley Powell


I love Vines. You make this 6.4-second drama, and you can reach 6 million viewers, and make people laugh. I find it so fabulous. – Joan Rivers


Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody. –  Mark Twain


The path of least resistance makes all rivers, and some men, crooked. — Napoleon Hill


To connect with the great river we all need a path, but when you get down there there’s only one river. – Matthew Fox


To ancient Chinese fancy, the Milky Way was a luminous river, – the River of Heaven, – the Silver Stream. – Lafcadio Hearn


As one goes through life, one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move. – Katharine Hepburn


In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create but by what we refuse to destroy.–John Sawhill

It was about dark now; so I dropped the canoe down the river under some willows that hung over the bank and waited for the moon to rise. – Mark Twain


The reality is we’re still 11-year-old boys locked in a cellar imagining what our lives would have been if we’d escaped. – KEVIN BACON


I am the river… sit and listen to my wisdom.  – Ian Menard


Things do not always happen the way I would have wanted, and it’s best that I get used to that. – Paulo Coelho


Life is a river, a wise friend told me. It’s flowing. You’re never at the same place twice. – Kamal Ravikant


The River of Life is timeless. It is not unchanging, but it is timeless, and it changes in its own time. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie


Clean water is not an expenditure of Federal funds; clean water is an investment in the future of our country. – Bob Shuster

The virtues are lost in self-interest as rivers are lost in the sea. – Franklin D. Roosevelt


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


Till last by Philip’s farm, I flow To join the brimming river, For men may come and men may go, But I go on forever. – Alfred Lord Tennyson


When you put your hand in a flowing stream, you touch the last that has gone before and the first of what is still to come. – Leonardo da Vinci


Rivers are roads that move and carry us whither we wish to go. —Blaise Pascal


I have never seen a river that I could not love. Moving water…has a fascinating vitality. It has power and grace and associations. It has a thousand colors and a thousand shapes, yet it follows laws so definite that the tiniest streamlet is an exact replica of a great river. – Roderick Haig Brown


The fountains mingle with the river, And the rivers with the ocean; The winds of heaven mix forever With a sweet emotion; Nothing in the world is single; All things, by a law divine, In one spirit meet and mingle. Why not I with thine? – Percy Bysshe Shelley


Rivers run through our history and folklore and link us as a people. They nourish and refresh us and provide a home for dazzling varieties of fish and wildlife and trees and plants of every sort. We are a nation rich in rivers. – Charles Kuralt


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


But just as the river is always at the door, so is the world always outside. And it is in the world that we have to live. ― Lian Hearn


A pond full of fish is better than a river full of stones. ― Matshona Dhliwayo


I am an intelligent river which has reflected successively all the banks before which it has flowed by meditating only on the images offered by those changing shores. – Victor Hugo


I will work as hard as I do because I love it. – Joan Rivers


Our bodies are molded rivers. –  Novalis


Read a thousand books and your words will flow like a river. — Virginia Woolf


The road to democracy may be winding and is like a river taking many curves, but eventually the river will reach the ocean. – Chen Shui-bian


Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath. – Michael Caine


As long as there are young men with the light of adventure in their eyes or a touch of wildness in their souls, rapids will be run. – Sigurd F. Olson


I made two miles and a half, and then struck out a quarter of a mile or more towards the middle of the river, because pretty soon I would be passing the ferry landing, and people might see me and hail me. – Mark Twain


Swift or smooth, broad as the Hudson or narrow enough to scrape your gunwales, every river is a world of its own, unique in pattern and personality. Each mile on a river will take you further from home than a hundred miles on a road.  – Bob Marshall


What makes life interesting is the challenges we face. – Paulo Coelho


Spirit is Life. It flows thru the death of me endlessly like a river unafraid of becoming the sea. – Gregory Corso


The River of Life knows no obstacles. The River can cut through solid rock – in its own time. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie


The good life on any river may…depend on the perception of its music, and the preservation of some music to perceive. – Aldo Leopold


Time Flows Away Like the Water in the River. – Confucius


Don’t try to steer the river. ― Deepak Chopra


When we are young we are like a flowing river – and then we freeze. – Kurt Lewin


With heavy rainfall, the river will overflow its banks. This is the spirit of gratitude; the more grateful you are, the more your life overflow with abundance. – Lailah Gifty Akita


We steer the boat, we don’t alter the river. — J. Earp


I think of the poetry of René Char and all he must have seen and suffered that has brought him to speak only of sedgy rivers, of daffodils and tulips whose roots they water, even to the free-flowing river that laves the rootlets of those sweet-scented flowers that people the milky way. – William Carlos Williams


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


Going with the flow is responding to cues from the universe. When you go with the flow, you’re surfing Lifeforce. It’s about wakeful trust and total collaboration with what’s showing up for you. – DANIELLE LAPORTE


The river in front of her was black. She thought it contained many things. ― Gisele Prassinos

Thanks for reading. Inspirational river quotes are more than words; they are ripples of insight guiding our journeys. Let these profound sayings flow through your thoughts, reminding us that, like rivers, life’s currents are navigated with resilience. Embrace the inspiration these quotes bring and let them shape your course.

Which quote is your favorite tell us in the comment section?


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